Pro basketball | NBA Draft

Agent: Moore can play his way into the first round

2011-04-20T22:00:00Z 2011-04-21T03:55:05Z Agent: Moore can play his way into the first roundBy Josh Weinfuss josh.weinfuss@nwi.com, (219) 933-3374 nwitimes.com

In a decision made with his agent, East Chicago native E'Twaun Moore opted against playing in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament earlier this month.

Moore turned down the invitation to the PIT, a senior-only event that gives NBA executives and scouts an opportunity to watch the draft-eligible players in a game setting against each other, instead choosing to train in Chicago and Las Vegas.

"He's played in an awful lot of big games," said Mark Bartelstein, Moore's Chicago-based agent. "If the NBA guys don't know who he is or what he can do ... he's had a great year. We wanted to spend this time addressing certain parts of his game, get back in his training mode.

"Now is the time to get in the laboratory and get ready for workouts."

One NBA scout, however, believes despite Moore's visibility and success, the Purdue senior could have benefited from a few days of playing against his classmates.

Ryan Blake, co-director of scouting for Marty Blake and Associates, said while it wouldn't have hurt Moore, playing in the PIT could have only helped.

"My philosophy is if you're not a guaranteed first-rounder, you want to show a team that you want to play," Blake said. "He's not a first-rounder right now. One of the things that you can do, and I try to explain to the players as they pull out is that Portsmouth, for seniors, that's their event.

"And that's their opportunity and an advantage over guys who are predicted to be in the first round."

While most mock drafts on the Internet have Moore, an E.C. Central graduate, slated as a middle to late second-round pick, some don't have him drafted at all. But Bartelstein believes his client could play himself into the first round.

"There's a ton of interest," Bartelstein said. "There's great, great interest in the league. I think he has a great chance to be a first-round pick. He's a baller. He does so many things well and he's a winner."

Bartelstein owns Priority Sports and Entertainment, and has 39 NBA players as clients, including Andrean grad Luke Harangody, former Butler star Gordon Hayward and Pacers star Danny Granger.

Moore is splitting his time between working out in Chicago and at Impact Sports in Las Vegas. He's expecting to be back in Chicago for the NBA predraft combine May 18-22.

He'll also be scheduling individual workouts with teams, Bartelstein said.

Between the combine and working out for teams during the next couple of months, Bartelstein believes it will make up for Moore not playing in Portsmouth.

"There was just no need to go there," Bartelstein said. "He's extremely highly thought of in the NBA. People really like him. It really wasn't something he needed to do. There was no real upside to him playing there."

Blake, however, disagreed.

"It's hard. He's kinda in that tricky position," Blake said. "He probably should have been there, but I think he's one of those guys where he's in the clip where he's one of the better seniors out there. If I was recommending him, I would.

"If you want to get into the first round, you want to try to do everything you can and you can lay the cards down on the table. That's just my philosophy."

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