Currently in Las Vegas working out ahead of the NBA Draft lottery next week, Texas Longhorns forward Myles Turner is impressing league personnel as he works to improve his low-post game and answer questions about his perceived mobility issues.
One general manager told SheridanHoops.com that Turner has "big-time upside."
The 6'11, 240-pound forward certainly has a big-time wingspan:
As a result, his ability to protect the rim should translate to the NBA after he ranked third in his draft class with 4.7 blocks per 40 minutes as a freshman.
One unknown entering the pre-draft process was whether Turner's running style would impact his future health or at least limit him athletically. It certainly came under criticism in the Draft Express scouting report on Turner:
His awkward running style, might not change anytime soon, though. Turner noticeably lumbers getting up and down the floor, and only made five field goals (out of 13 attempts) all season in transition situations according to Synergy Sports Technology.
So Turner and his agent, Andy Miller of ASM sports, decided to take a proactive approach to addressing any potential issues that might result from Turner's running style by going through tests at the renowned Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and then releasing the 27-page report to all 30 NBA teams.
The good news for Turner is that there aren't any imbalances or structural deficiencies that would put him in danger of suffering injuries moving forward -- he just has weak gluteus medius muscles, which stretch from the crest of the hip bone to the greater trochanter at the top of the femur. The muscles serve the purpose of keeping the pelvis from dropping to one side when the opposite leg plants while running. Turner's weakness in those muscles results in a pronation of his left foot in his stride.
So he's going through a specific set of exercises designed to correct those imbalances:
I have been working on my core, hips and gluteal muscles. I have noticed huge gains in my transitional drills. I have been able to get out and run the court better.
It's possible that strengthening those muscles could also help Turner with one of his other major issues -- his lateral quickness when defending the pick and roll. Even if it doesn't, becoming an effective transition player could bolster Turner's draft stock since he finished so poorly in transition and failed to create many opportunities for himself.
Draft Express currently has Turner going with the No. 11 pick in the draft, which would belong to the Indiana Pacers is the lottery falls according to the odds. It often doesn't, of course, so Turner's exact positioning will be easier to predict once the 14 lottery teams officially slot into their respective draft spots.
If he convinces a team that he can create opportunities in transition and defend the pick and roll at a high level, he could become a top-10 draft pick, especially since there will likely be teams in that range with a need for a floor-stretching big.