Allen fights through long pre-draft workout with Hawks

Jarrett Allen spent a long day in Atlanta on Monday.

The early-entry draft candidate had a grueling pre-draft workout with the Hawks. He also had lunch and dinner with members of the coaching staff and front office. It was well into the evening before the freshman center out of Texas was done with his visit.

“They said that I did well,” Allen said. “They liked how I fought through the workout. It was a 1-on-0 workout. It was tough with no rest, but they liked how I kept fighting. The Hawks had me doing some transition stuff, normal big-man stuff and seeing if I could make decisions on the go.”

It was the second pre-draft workout for Allen. He estimates he will have seven or eight more workouts in advance of the NBA Draft on June 22. Next up are the Timberwolves.

Allen, 6-foot-11, 234 pounds, appeared in 33 games for the Longhorns. He averaged 13.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 0.8 assists and 0.6 steals in 32.1 minutes. Allen said he started thinking about turning professional toward the end of his first season.

“I started doing better, but I didn’t hire an agent at first because I wasn’t sure it was the right time for me to come out,” Allen said. “After talking to people who knew NBA people, it felt like the right time for me.”

Allen has since hired an agent and will remain in the draft.

The Hawks have three selections in the draft, including No. 19 overall in the first round.

Allen attended the NBA Scouting Combine in Chicago last month. He measured a 7-5 1/4 wingspan, a 9-1 1/2 standing reach, a 31 1/2-inch no-step vertical and a 35 1/2-inch max vertical. Allen was one of the players assigned to the Hawks for an interview at the combine. He got added time with the organization in Atlanta.

“They were telling me they try to play with the new basketball game,” Allen said. “It’s not really super into the post. They are just trying to find people who can play in the new age. Me being more athletic, it helps me being able to run out. I can guard the pick-and-roll better than most bigs because I can move my feet. I feel like I can have a pretty decent back-to-the-basket and face-up game.

“I think I fit in me. I think me being as mobile and as athletic as I am, I think I will fit in fine.”

The Hawks like to have big men on the roster who can stretch the floor and make outside shots. Last season the team featured Paul Millsap, Mike Muscala and Ersan Illyasova as big men who could make 3-pointers. All three are unrestricted free agents this summer. That’s a part of his game that Allen knows he needs continued improvement.

“I know my shot is definitely developing more,” Allen said. “In working out, I’ve been able to knock down the 3-pointer. It’s definitely the way the NBA is going. Five men are having to step out and shoot the 3. For me to strive in the NBA, that is something I’m going to have to add to my game.”

Draft Express has Allen ranked as the No. 17 overall prospect in the draft. Mock drafts by various outlets have Allen going anywhere between No. 12 and No. 19 (to the Hawks).

“Really, for me, I don’t mind the draft position,” Allen said. “It’s just how I develop when I get to the city I go to.”