When Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond declared for the NBA Draft earlier this spring, the consensus was that the former had fewer holes in his game while the latter was a physical specimen still with plenty to learn about the nuances of the game. For the most part, that still holds. But now Lamb finds himself fighting the perception that his easygoing persona may not translate into a lottery pick.
"I've heard that I'm too laid-back sometimes," Lamb told the Hartford Courant's Dom Amore last week. "I have to find ways to keep my energy up, find ways to push and push. I still get the job done. But at times, it looks like I'm not trying. Usually that comes up if my shot is off. So I just have to find ways to impact the game every time I'm on the floor."
And according to CSNNW.com's Chris Haynes, the Trail Blazers came away from their workout with Lamb less than impressed. "A player the Trail Blazers/many teams were disappointed in was Connecticut’s wing Jeremy Lamb," Haynes wrote Saturday. "He was known as a sharp-shooter, but wasn't able to knock down his perimeter shot on a consistent level during drills."
Haynes says that Lamb's interview about the organization "couldn't have helped, either." (While Lamb doesn't come off well, if Portland loved his on-court talents we're guessing a two-minute Q&A wouldn't much matter.)
Meanwhile, CSNWashington.com's Ben Standig thinks that Lamb could be a good fit for the Wizards. "Silky smooth perfectly describes the 19-year-old wing guard’s game, which includes touch from distance, offensive versatility and smart use of his athletic gifts," Standig wrote last week -- but he also recognized those issues that concern other NBA clubs.
"Team chemistry gone bad punctuated Connecticut’s 2011-12 campaign as new players joined those learning new positions and the formula led to frequent on-court dysfunction. Lamb’s game at time suffered. His laid-back manner led to frequent disappearing acts as others commandeered the offense."
Drummond, his former teammate and also a likely top-10 pick in this month's draft, is quick to come to Lamb's defense. "He's a very competitive person," Drummond told Amore. "Whether you believe it or not, he is a very competitive person."
It doesn't matter what fans and media believe. Ultimately, Lamb's draft fate will rest with the opinions of NBA coaches, scouts and front-office types.