Ty Lawson Interview: Teams Will Get a Lot from a PG in This Year's Draft

Ryan MillerCorrespondent IJune 10, 2009

DETROIT - APRIL 06:  Ty Lawson #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on against the Michigan State Spartans during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship game at Ford Field on April 6, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Here is the link to the YouTube video of the interview.

How much do you see height as an obstacle?

I don’t think it’s an obstacle at all. The NBA is changing. There are a lot more little guys, and they made a rule where you can’t touch the players when you’re driving, so it’ll be an advantage for the little guys. I don’t think it’s an obstacle at all besides mismatches and posting up, but other than that I think it’s better to be little.

This year’s draft is being labeled as a weak draft class, but the point guard position is loaded:

They said it’s weak overall, but there’s a bunch of very good point guards like Johnny Flynn, Jeff Teague, Ricky Rubio (if he comes over), and me. I feel it’s very strong in the point guard position. A lot of teams will get a lot from a point guard that they draft this year.

Does your quickness make up for your height disadvantage?

It does, but also being strong, and having quick feet and quick hands helps me on defense. If someone tries to post me up I can probably get around and not let them post me up, and things like that, so I think the way I’m built helps me out a lot even though I’m a short person.

Have you had the chance to talk to Tyler Hansbrough much here in Chicago?

Not really, we’ve both been kind of busy. He’s in different groups than me. Also, with the team interviews, we haven’t really had the chance to talk.

How do you think Tyler will fare in the NBA?

He’s a hard-working player. He’s been working real hard. Whatever he’s weak in, besides physically like his height, maybe his shot, he’s going to get better in and he’s going to perfect in. I think he’s going to do a lot better than what people think he’s going to do in the league.

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Have you worked out for any teams yet?

I’ve only worked out for one team, Phoenix. It went real well, I think I shot the ball real well, which most teams didn’t think I could do. I just want to go there and show teams I can do that, but I’ve only had one workout so far.

You were an early entrant last year before withdrawing your name. How much different is the setup at the pre-draft camp this year?

Yeah, it’s real different. Last year playing games, you could probably up your stock in the five-on-five games. This year it’s just shooting drills and stuff like that, so where you’re coming in the draft is probably where you’re going to stay at. So whatever slot your slot is, that’s probably where you’re going to be at. Pretty much workouts with individual teams are the most important thing, not the combine this year.

When you decided last year to come back to school, how complicated was that decision?

It was real complicated because I had a couple teams saying they would draft me in the higher 20s where I really didn’t want to go. There were “maybes” with the lottery teams, but nobody gave me a definite answer. It was kind of tough to gauge whether I should go or not.


NBA Pre-Draft Combine Results

Height w/o shoes: 5' 11.25"
Height w/ shoes: 6' 0.5"
Weight: 197
Wingspan: 6' 0.75"
Standing Reach: 7' 10.5"
Body Fat: 6.6 percent
No Step Vert. 29.0
Max Vert. 36.5
Bench Press: 14
Lane Agility: 10.98
3/4 Court Sprint: 3.12 sec.

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