As the 2021 NBA Draft vastly approaches, LSU star Trendon Watford has continued going through the process of working out and interviewing with numerous teams. This week, Watford worked out with the San Antonio Spurs as he looks to continue boosting his draft stock.
Including the Spurs, Watford has held private workouts with the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz to showcase his underrated skillset that is improving day by day. While in town meeting with the Pelicans, Watford had the chance to meet with Will Wade to discuss the process to this point.
“Trendon was in town, he worked out for the Pelicans,” LSU Coach Will Wade said on The Jordy Culotta Show. “I saw Trendon and we went to dinner. I talked to Ja’Vonte, he had a workout in Atlanta. We talk to these guys everyday trying to help them get feedback to see where things are.”
With most mock drafts having Watford as a projected mid-to-late second round selection, it will be interesting to see which team takes a chance on the versatile big man with tremendous upside.
After working out with a few teams, here is where he could fit into their rotations:
New Orleans Pelicans
A team that lacked depth at the forward position in the 2020-21 season, Watford could give a boost to the Pelicans bench under newly named head coach Willie Green’s roster. With significant versatility, Watford’s offensive game has the ability to step out to shoot a contested jump shot and a sturdy frame to bounce off contact in the paint.
For the Pelicans, Watford has the opportunity to provide key minutes off the bench and give buckets in the blink of an eye. As the NBA shifts to “stretch big men,” Watford could fill this role beautifully for a Pelicans team that lacked shooting to say the least.
Watford is a Swiss Army knife who can score from all three levels with growth being shown on the defensive end. As the Jazz have a championship roster with a sturdy bench rotation, Watford has the opportunity give them additional depth at the forward position.
Watford is a cerebral player who can read the floor on both ends of the court. Offensively, he shifts into open space to create passing lanes for ball handlers while seemingly always getting to the open spot. Defensively, he has exceptional court awareness and rotates extremely well to wreak havoc for offenses. For a Jazz team who could add a skilled forward to their arsenal, Watford could be their guy in the middle of the second round.
San Antonio Spurs
With LaMarcus Aldridge out of the picture for the Spurs, they’re in dire need of adding a stretch big man to their roster. Under Coach Gregg Popvich, the Spurs have always thrived using their bigs where Watford could fill that void almost instantaneously.
The Spurs have all the tools to boost themselves back into playoff contention this upcoming season and the addition of Watford could lighten the load for the rest of their young core pieces. His ability to thrive in the pick and roll game could be the perfect fit next to their young stars of Keldon Johnson and Dejounte Murray.
In a loaded 2021 NBA Draft, it’s easy to look past productive players like Trendon Watford who doesn’t traditionally showcase significant athleticism or perform the highlight reel play on a nightly basis. Watford is a player who will do the dirty work for a franchise while giving buckets in the blink of an eye.
For Watford, a guy who earned All-SEC in a talented conference, he has the opportunity to become a steal in the second round. With the NBA Draft less than a week away, LSU’s own has the chance to be a hidden gem in one of the most talented drafts in recent memory.