Ashton Gibbs has been popping up on the radar of some NBA teams recently. This weekend, he participated in a tryout with the New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets. The week before that, he worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers.
We all know that when he's on, Gibbs can shoot. But there's going to be more to making the NBA than just that and for starters, he acknowledges he's a bit undersized:
"I’m not the biggest guy, but I got a big heart and that’s something I’ve definitely had for a long time," Gibbs said. "Coming from Pitt, you’ve gotta be a tough player. I’m not worried about my height, I’m just gonna play my hardest and play my toughest."
He says despite his size, he thinks he can still play in the NBA:
"You see smaller guys do it all the time. Mario Chalmers, Eddie House as well did it for a long time," Gibbs said of the perception he is too short. "I don’t think height really matters. If you can play, you can play and NBA guys know that."
Sure, I'm with Gibbs in that shorter shooting guards can find a home in the NBA. But you've got to have some ball-handling skills as well, and that's not lost on him - especially since that's what teams have apparently told him.
Saturday may have been Gibbs’ best opportunity to show how far he has come in a year, but it isn’t his first trip around the NBA Draft circuit this spring. Prior to Saturday, he said he had already worked out for the Lakers, Spurs, Clippers and Heat. In a somber tone after the combine was over, he indicated that those four teams have already told him what he pretty much already knows.
"I think teams know I can shoot the ball, but I have to show other things I need to do as far as a complete guard," Gibbs said.
I still have a hard time believing Gibbs will be drafted, but a team taking a shot on him late in the second round wouldn't be a huge surprise, I suppose. Still, the free agent route appears more probable at this point and Gibbs' best bet is to get into the right situation (I'll have more on this later in the week).