Tennessee All-SEC shooting guard Scotty Hopson is heading into his NBA workout this weekend believing he’s a first-round draft pick, according to his advisor, Larry Marshall.
“I said, ‘Scotty, what do you think?’ ” Marshall said Wednesday night. “He believes he’s a solid first-round guy. If he thought he was a second-rounder, he should go back to school.’’
Marshall said he declined “12 or 13” teams’ requests to have Hopson work out for them, choosing instead to have Hopson work out at an NBA combine-like event at the New Jersey Nets practice facility Saturday and Sunday.
Hopson has until midnight on Sunday to inform Tennessee if he’ll return for his senior season.
Marshall, who has been putting Hopson through workouts in New Jersey, said he’s leaving the decision up to Hopson.
“We’re going to the workout this weekend and see what they say, and we’ll make a decision then,’’ Marshall said. “To be very honest, it’s not my decision. I do a feasibility study that will reveal the truth. He wants to hear for himself what the league has to say.’’
Marshall said he believes Hopson would get selected in the first round of the NBA draft June 23, which would mean he would get a guaranteed contract.
“At the end of the day, I like his chances,’’ said Marshall, who previously served as an advisor for Los Angeles Lakers player Andrew Bynum. “Scotty’s a prototypical NBA two-guard; he has the athleticism of any two guard in the draft, he has the wingspan, he can shoot the ball, he can defend the wing, the point guard and swing players.’’
NBA analysts have expressed concern about the 6-foot-6 Hopson’s lack of consistency in published pre-draft reports.
“The naysayers aren’t the ones writing the checks,’’ Marshall said. “Was the (Tennessee) program consistent? I don’t think it was. I think they had up and downs. They won against top-five teams, and they lost against some teams at the bottom of the barrel.
“Inconsistency breeds inconsistency.’’
Marshall said “everyone knows that in another year, Scotty is a lottery pick.’’
But, he added, “There’s going to be a team out there that will jump on top of him.’’
Hopson didn’t attend UT’s spring workouts, but he made arrangements with his professors to keep up with his classes and has stayed in communication with new Vols coach Cuonzo Martin.
Attempts to reach Hopson were unsuccessful.