There was a familiar face at the Wizards early draft workout session on Tuesday. We're not talking about team president Ernie Grunfeld, who oversaw the proceedings from a perch above the Verizon Center practice court, or coach Randy Wittman. Not even Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr. The rising second-year wings were in the building for their own kind of workout ahead of next month's Las Vegas Summer League.
We are talking about LaQuinton Ross, a small forward product from Ohio State making his second stop in Chinatown in as many weeks. The 6-foot-7 junior showed his wares for several other teams, but nobody else asked for an encore. Ross finished a visit with the Dallas Mavericks when his agent said the Wizards wanted another look.
"I don't think it means anything bad. I definitely think it's a good sign, especially they call you back twice," Ross said following the first of Washington's two workout sessions on Tuesday. "I mean, what other reason would they have for calling you back again?
Good question and one easily answerable. Washington owns the 46th overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft. DraftExpress.com ranks Ross as the 50th overall prospect in the 2014 class. After a breakout performance as a sophomore during the 2013 NCAA Tournament, he averaged 15.2 points and 5.9 rebounds for the Buckeyes last season.
Baylor forward Cory Jefferson is the only other player the Wizards brought back for a second meeting.
Stanford forward Dwight Powell and Arizona State point guard Jahii Carson, also projected as second round selections, were among five prospects on the court with Ross.
Even though he went through essentially the same full-court process in Washington on June 11, Ross said, "This was one of my tougher workouts. The coach likes to get up and down, their style of play."
Even though he knew what to expect, Ross knew enough not to alter his style.
"I don't think I changed anything. I shot the ball like I did last time, shot the pretty well. Just stick to my game. I think that's what they want to see. They know what you're capable of doing. They've seen you all year. They want to see how good you are at playing your game, not coming and trying to change anything or do anything that you're not capable of doing."
What he's capable of doing is shooting from distance. Ross studied the Wizards enough to know that's a good trait for those trying to crack Wittman's rotation.
"I tried to do that with every team, thinking how would I play with this team, where would I fit in," said Ross, who sports a 7-foot-1 wingspan. "Definitely here it would be outside shooting. The guys like to shoot the 3 here."
Ross is also familiar with Washington's leading man. "I've [known] John Wall for a long time," he said, adding the two almost played together at Word of God Christian Academy, Wall's final prep stop.
Whether the duo will join forces in Washington could be determined on Thursday. Ross is done with his pre-draft workouts. The Wizards don't truly need another small forward, but talent is talent. No matter what happens, no other team will have asked him back more than once.
"I'm not going to take it for anything," Ross said. "I'm still going to be sitting [at home] waiting patiently on draft night."