Trent Plaisted presented a humble face Tuesday following a rigorous workout with the Utah Jazz.
That face also dripped sweat, and his shirt was soaked.
Two days before the NBA Draft, Plaisted says he's ready to accept his fate in professional basketball. It comes Thursday, three months removed from his last game in a BYU uniform at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., during the NCAA's first round.
Plaisted told reporters he acknowledges he is looked at as a raw talent, that he doesn't have an outside jump shot, but he has no regrets about casting his lot with the NBA and he's hoping for the best come Thursday. "We'll see what happens," he said.
Tuesday's Jazz workout was Plasited's final of a dozen around the league which has taken him from coast to coast. He admitted returning to Utah's altitude had an impact on him and late in the workout he lost a battle with some orange juice he'd consumed prior to the test supervised by Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan.
"This one was OK," Plaisted said. "I burned out a little too quick. That isn't characteristic of me but overall I thought it was a pretty good day."
Teams that have worked out Plaisted include Cleveland, Boston, New Orleans, Golden State, Houston, San Antonio and Seattle.
"The first one I was pretty jumpy but as they go on you kind of realize, sure you want to kill every workout, but some go better than others. You just have to see how a team evaluates it."
Plaisted is aware of criticism and doubt in his NBA chances and those who have second-guessed his decision to leave BYU after his junior year.
He is also objective about his limitations and has tried to put on his best show in workouts.
"I've never proclaimed myself to be a jump shooting Dirk Nowitzki-type of player. That's not my strength at this time. But I do have some things you can't teach and that's my athleticism and ability to run the floor.
"I'm in the middle of it and there is no turning back now."
Plaisted's gamble could pay off if he is drafted. If he goes high in the second round, he could make some money as a power forward or center.
"I hope so. I'm not going to guarantee anything. It's a process you go through and you do so believing you made the right decision. There are no second thoughts for me. BYU is a great place and the coaches did a great job and I love my teammates, but his is the right decision for me and the right time."
Asked if he received enough opportunities in college to develop a face-the-basket jump shot game, Plaisted said he accepted his role. "We won a lot of basketball games and won championships at BYU, and I did all I could."
The best advice Plaisted has received in this pre-draft process is that he should be himself and not try and do things he hasn't done in his career. "I'm a guy that hustles. I run the floor and I used my athleticism. You have to use your strengths. I have to be the kind of player I am. I haven't magically become a 3-point shooter."
Plaisted said he was honored to workout with Sloan and appreciated the attention. "He's a class guy, a hall-of-fame coach and a legend."
Sloan did not comment on Plasited's Tuesday's workout, a two-man affair with Arkansas 7-footer Steven Hill, but Walt Perrin, director of player personnel for Utah did.
"I think Trent struggled a little bit today physically in conditioning. I think he may have been a little sick. He needs to work on his total game. He needs to work on stepping out and hitting some jump shots, continue to work on his post-up game and moving his feet defensively."
Asked about the importance of having a jump shot as a big man, Perrin said the perimeter game is important. "You have to learn how to step out and knock down a 12 or 15 jump shot because in our league, at our level, it would be hard for him to be on the post all the time."
Plaisted said he's improved his shooting, but that's something teams will have to comment on and confirm. Since leaving BYU, however, Plaisted is the first to admit, "I haven't suddenly become a jump shooting fiend."
Mock drafts have migrated on Plaisted. Some have projected he'll be a first-round pick to a solid second rounder and some have him not being drafted at all.
"I give absolutely no credence to mock drafts," Plaisted said. There is one that projected Plaisted to go to Utah in the second round. "But if they took me in the second round I'd be pleased."
Perrin discounted mock drafts that have Utah taking Plaisted in the second round. "I don't know where he'll go. To tell you the truth, we have been working on the first round. We'll likely study the second round today and tomorrow."
A second-round pick might not make a dent on the Jazz, the way the team is constructed today. "I think a first round pick would be hard to make our roster," added Perrin, who told a TV station this week he believed Plaisted would be better served if he'd spent one more year in college.
Why? Perrin said he'd have more time being "the guy" getting "more touches" and developing his game.Said Perrin Tuesday, "I don't know where he goes right now, if he's a solid second round pick, at No. 44, and I think he'll be available, I don't know if we take him."
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