A transcript of the interview with Will Barton following his draft workout at the Target Center.
Barton worked out with Yancy Gates (Cincinnati), Ramone Moore (Temple) and Garrett Stutz (Wichita State).
Barton appeared to tweak his ankle towards the end of his workout. He walked gingerly over to the chairs, had a trainer look at it, but started walking around afterwards. It didn't appear to be too serious.
Fab Melo is going to be at a workout tomorrow at the Target Center, and I'll be there for that one as well.
How'd the workout go?
It went real well. We competed really hard and really got after it. It was a good workout.
What did they have you do?
Um, one on one, two on two, shooting drills, ball handling drills, working on our footwork, really a lot of competition.
Is this a good fit for you? Do you see yourself going 18?
I think so. I think I could go 18 to the Timberwolves. They're a young team on the rise. They really play hard. They have a great organization. I think they're on their way up, so, I think I would be a real good addition to the team.
What are you hearing from your agent about your range and how has that changed over the last couple of weeks?
I've heard anywhere from 17 to the end of the 1st, so that range right now. It's way different [from a month ago]. Most people had me early 2nd, late 2nd, maybe some in the 1st round. Now, it's pretty much assured that I'm a first round pick.
Is that proof that these workouts means something?
I think its been having good workouts, the interviews, the combine, just a mixture of everything. Teams get to know me better in interviews, getting to see my personality on the court, how I deal with others.
What do you think teams see now that they didn't see a month ago?
They see that I'm a team player, clean guy, never really gotten in trouble off the court. That I'm not just some cocky kid, I'm just confident at what I do. I like to make winning plays and everything that I did in my conference, as far as succeeding on the court, that I can do that against anybody, against any competition.
What do you think about minimum age requirement in the NBA?
I think you should be able to go straight out of high school. I think if you're good enough, you should be able to go, if the team's willing to draft you. I feel like you should be able to go out and get a job at any time you want to. If the team's willing to take you, you're ready and your stock is there, I feel like you should be able to go.
You were a top-15 player out of high school. Would you have gone to the NBA if that rule was not in place?
I might have thought about it. I would've gotten some feedback though. I wasn't a for sure guy who would've just left because I knew I had to work on my body a little bit and tune up some things. I was kind of wild coming out of high school, so I had to tighten up some things. I think I still would've went to college, but its some other guys I think who could've gone straight out of high school and would've benefited more.
What kinds of questions are teams asking you in other interviews?
A little bit of everything. How I was raised. My background. My relationship with coaches at Memphis. The players at Memphis. How I've been doing in other workouts. Pretty much standard stuff. Just wanting to get to know me better and see how I answer questions and see how honest I am. See what my personality is.
How much homework have you done on the Timberwolves?
I watch the Wolves a lot, actually. They're a young team. Mike Beasley is from DC, I'm not that far from there. I watched Wesley Johnson a lot in college. Kevin Love, I mean, I've been hearing about him since hew as in high school. I've watched a lot of those guys. Like I said, they're a young team and they're on the rise. A few pieces here or there and they're a playoff team.
The Wolves are looking for a perimeter scorer on wing position. How do you feel yourself fitting into that role?
I think that's what I do. I think I would be a great asset. Not just scoring the ball. I feel like I'm very versatile. I can defend three positions. I just make winning plays, create for others and myself, and defend. I'm a guy who likes to compete and I push everybody, including myself.
How's your outside shooting?
It's getting better. Today, I really shot the ball pretty well. With me, it's really about staying consistent with my form and my shot. I think when I keep my elbow up, I make a lot of shots. It's just a work in progress, but we're getting better at it every day.
What are your plans for draft night?
I'm gonna go home to Baltimore, Maryland. I'm going to be with my close ones and my family and just watch and pray for the best.
Is it going to be nervous between now and then?
Yeah, it's nervous. Right now, that's all I think about. I mean, I really can't sleep that much. Last night, I just stayed up in my room and just laid there because I know its close. It's nerve wracking. You know never know where you're gonna go. I mean, I'm at peace. I've worked real hard and I know I did everything I could to land wherever I'm going to go. I know I did all the work and I put in a lot of time.
What teams have you had feedback from?
I let my agent handle that. I told him to keep that away from me. I don't want to get too high or too low. I go into every workout thinking it's going to be harder than the next one. I want to keep that mindset. If you start to get too comfortable, thinking about, "they really like you" and all that, you'll probably let up a little bit. And all that's just talk. You never know until they call your name. I know there are teams that like me and probably would draft me. But I'll never know until June 28th.
Is this your last workout?
No, I go to Indiana this afternoon and work out tomorrow morning.
Are you keeping track of what number city this is in the process?
Oh man (laughs), I've been so many places. I don't even know. In the process, every time I leave a city, I forget I was there. I'll probably forget when I wake up tomorrow morning that I was even here. I mean, I've done that every time I go somewhere. A coach asks me where I come from and it takes me five minutes just to recollect where I was at because I've been to so many cities and so many different workouts. I just try to focus on the next city.
Have you been to Minnesota before?
Never been to Minnesota before. But I like it.
Were David Kahn and Rick Adelman here?
Uhh, I didn't see Rick Adelman. What was the other name? (Reporter says David Kahn) David Kahn? I don't know. I didn't see coach.
Do you have a preference of joining a young team versus a team with more established veterans?
Not really. I'm just looking for somewhere I can fit it and get the opportunity to compete for minutes and play right away and be in the best situation for myself. Hopefully, we're able to win games. That's all I care about. I feel like I'm a guy who is versatile and can adapt to any situation. I feel like I go to a young team, I can fit in there. If I go to an older team with veterans, I'll just play my role and do what they tell me. Same thing I'll do with a young team. It really doesn't matter to me. I'll just try to soak up knowledge from guys who have been there and do what I do.
Have you talked to Tyreke Evans or Derrick Rose [other NBA players out of Memphis] about the draft process?
Um, I don't really know them too well. I remember Tyreke came to a game earlier this year and told me I was a pro and to keep working hard. But I don't know either of them personally. They're two guys I've been watching since I was young. Tyreke was one of my favorite players since I was in high school. Those are great guys to look up to. I take things from their games and try to implement them in my game.
Is there anyone you talk to for background on the process?
To be honest, I pretty much keep to myself. I came in not knowing too many people, and I'm going to stay that way. I'm going to find out everything about myself and take it all in. When I get there, I'll talk to guys as I meet them and get to know them, but right now, I"m just sticking to the gameplan that got me here.