Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, you will know there is a British kid, Ryan Richards who’s originally from Kent reppin’ to the fullest out in the NBA draft workouts. He has created a lot of buzz for himself, and as a result is being written about a fair amount on the internet. I know a lot of people have been wanting to find out how he’s doing so I’ve chucked together everything I’ve found/know into a timeline that brings us up to today. This will be constantly updated, so please keep checking back.
-19th April 2010: Declares
“Ryan Richards (has) decided to enter in NBA draft.”
Sportando reports Ryan Richards has declared for the NBA draft.
-26th April 2010: Arrives in the US
I’m going to be in Chicago getting ready for the workouts on Monday
Arrives in Chicago to prepare for workouts (from personal correspondence).
-Early May 2010 (Dates TBC): First NBA workouts
“Real good feedback from Detroit, Chicago really liked me”
Has workouts with Detroit and Chicago, explains how they went to Draft Express in a later interview (see 21st May).
-20th May 2010: NBA Draft Combine
“Ryan Richards was the most intriguing prospect for me, his ability at 6’10, 245lbs, he also showed an ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter, also he’s 19, he’s still growing in to that body so he shows the most upside in my opinion. He’s fundamentally sound, doesn’t have some of the flaws in his game you might develop here if you’re playing in the states. The bottom line is those are the kinda guys coaches wanna work with. Ryan Richards was an unknown, that makes him a intriguing, a little sexy”
Quotes from the ESPN panel, including Jay Williams and Chad Ford, that kicked it all off after Richards impressive performance at the Draft Combine. See the full video interview here.
“One off the radar player that seemed to be making quite a name for himself during the telecast was power forward Ryan Richards of England. Richards came to Chicago without much fanfare as he wasn’t considered one of the better international prospects like Dontas Motiejunas of Lithuania.From what was shown, the 6’10 235 pound lefty looked impressive in the drills and was able to keep pace with many of the top collegiate talents that were competing. He looked smooth and showed off good athleticism for his size.”
Bleacher Report published this article, which circulated the web.
“Left hander who had some intrigue from international scouts a few years ago. His development has not been great although he does show solid touch. Talk about him as a first rounder seems farfetched. He has not done anything in actual games to warrent first round discussion.”
NBADraft.net remain skeptical, pointing to his lack of high level competitive experience.
“Looking overseas again, the Kings also interviewed Ryan Richards on Thursday evening. The 19-year-old forward from England is listed at 6-113/4 in shoes.”
Whilst at the combine Richards is interviewed by the Sacramento Kings, a team that is rumoured to be interested.
-21st May 2010: Not returning to Europe
“I’ve made it pretty clear that if I do get drafted I wanna stay with the team, whether I play up or down in the D-league or with the team, I definitely don’t wanna go back to Europe”
Draft Express upload this Youtube interview with Ryan Richards at the combine where he says he doesn’t want to go back to Europe.
“I was watching the NBA Combine and they were talking about a 6-11 19 year old from England and how he was tearing it up at the combine. I was wondering if anyone knew anything about him and where he might project in the draft.”
“Height without shoes: 6’10.5″ Height with shoes: 6’11.75″ Weight: 230lbs Wingspan: 7’1.5″ Reach: 9’2″ Body fat: 8%”
The official combine pre draft measurements are released. Ryan measures up well.
”Ryan Richards capped off a spectacular weekend from his perspective, measuring 6-10 ½ without shoes, with a 7-1 ½ wingspan. Even though he has struggled to find a long-term home for himself in Europe, the 19-year old could very well be drafted in the second round and stashed for a year or two in the D-League. Richards is one of the biggest mystery prospects in this draft after playing in Switzerland this past season. NBA teams won’t have the luxury of evaluating him at the adidas EuroCamp in Treviso from what he told us.”
Draft Express analyzes the NBA Draft Combine measurements and discusses Richards as a winner.
-22nd May 2010: The National Team
“I’m not playing with the national team this summer, and I never received an invite to the men’s GB national team, so I am focusing all my attention on the upcoming draft. But I wish them the best!”
Eurohopes interviews Ryan Richards and asks the questions the rest of Britain are thinking; why was he left off the GB men’s roster?
“Ryan Richards is as close as it gets to a mystery man in this year’s NBA draft. Barely 19 and with a scant international basketball resume, Richards nevertheless was one of 54 players the NBA invited to last week’s Chicago draft combine. So NBA scouts obviously know about him, even if not many others did, despite Richards’ sparing European experience that consists of two amateur seasons in Spain and one professional season in the mediocre Belgian league before splitting last year between Spain and Switzerland.
Yet Richards opened eyes in Chicago, where he measured as the third-tallest prospect in shoes at 6-foot-11¾ and showed deep shooting range on a lithe frame that could comfortably carry another 20 pounds above his current 230.
Richards revealed in Chicago that he did work out for the Pistons, who hold the No. 36 overall pick, sixth in the second round, and could be every bit as intent on adding to their frontcourt with that pick as they figure to be at No. 7 in the lottery.”
In perhaps a show of their interest for him, Detroit Pistons run an article on Richards (click to read in full).
“English 19-year-old Ryan Richards sent some decision-makers scrambling to find game tape.”
San Francisco Chronicle continues the buzz with a mention of Richard’s performance at the combine.
“Honestly, one of my first looks at this big Brit. For starters, he passes the eye test. He’s one of those guys who at first glance seems to be 6′8″. His fluidity and musculature become all the more impressive when you see that he’s doing what he’s doing at 6′11″. The buzz he’s created proves one thing: simply that it is very possible to create your own buzz.”
Euroleague Adventures chimes in with their thoughts on Ryan Richards, saying it only takes on 2nd round GM to fall in love with him to get drafted.
“The prospect that made the most progress to his draft stock was Ryan Richards. He is officially 6’11, 230 pounds, equipped with a 7’1” wingspan and a 9’2” standing reach.
The thing that impressed most scouts about Richards is his upside. At the combine he showcased his talents, and abilities. He can stretch the floor and drain three balls at 6’11” and teams love his potential.”
Bleacher Report talks discusses Ryan Richards when talking about what we’ve learnt from the Draft Combine.
-24th May 2010: Minneapolis Workouts Scheduled
Ryan scheduled for 3 on 3 workouts in Minneapolis at the Target Center.
“Things have changed quite quickly, however, as Richards went from “nearly unknown” to “severely underrated” in just under three hours of shooting baskets in a gym full of NBA decision makers.”
NBA Fan House publishes this nice article summarising Richard’s whirlwind week.
-25th May 2010: The Target Center Workout
“He’ll likely be looking to build on that buzz in this morning’s workout, but it seems a 19-year-old 7-footer with considerable upside is probably a lock to be picked in one of the rounds of the NBA Draft regardless of how he performs today.”
Scott Schroeder thinks Ryan is a lock to get drafted even before the workout in Minneapolis on Tuesday.
“Ryan Richards left the AM workout after an injury”
Potential disaster for Ryan Richards as he is injured during the workout in Minneapolis, according to tweets from Jonah Ballow, writer for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“He’s very intriguing, he’s very long. He’s a lefty which I think is a small advantage because a lot of people aren’t used to that, he can shoot a little bit. He looks like a pretty good player, a good all around player, but I’m intrigued especially by his length and he also seems to be a decent athlete.”
All is not lost though as he is still like by Timberwolves, president David Kahn said the above out him. There were a number of other NBA teams there, including Miami Heat. The Toronto Sun was predicting him to go late in the first round.
“Another player to gain attention is power forward Ryan Richards, an Englishman playing in Spain whose size and shooting touch helped him stand out to some talent evaluators.”
Sports Illustrated’s Frank Hughes shows Richards some love in his evaluation of the pre-draft camp.
28th May 2010: Hoopsfixtape Drops
Hoopsfix releases an 09/10 highlight mixtape of Richards to try and create some hype. Ends up featured at Slam Online, Basketball 24/7, European Prospects, Ragggs, Coachbox, other international websites in France, and Spain as well as shared on forums such as NBA Dimensions and other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Currently has over 7,000 views in 2 days and a number of Youtube honours.
“No step vertical jump: 25″. No step jump height: 11’3″. Maximum Vertical Jump: 28.5″. Maximum Jump Height: 11′ 6.5″. 185lb Bench Press: 4 reps. Lane Agility Drill: 11.33 seconds. 3/4 Court Sprint: 3.34 seconds. Hand Length: 9.00″. Hand Width: 9.75″.”
On top of that, the NBA Draft Combine athleticism testing results were released. Above are Ryan’s numbers.
-29th May 2010: Grizzlies Workout Scheduled
“The Grizzlies will begin their individual player workouts Tuesday with players projected to be available around their late first-round draft picks. Luke Harangody, a 6-8 forward out of Notre Dame who averaged 20-plus points for three straight seasons, is perhaps the most interesting name scheduled to appear Tuesday when forwards Ryan Richards (London), Dinma Odiakosa (Illinois State) and Mac Koshwal (DePaul) will also work out.”
Grizzlies announce they will be working out Ryan Richards this coming Tuesday.
-31st May 2010: Hoopsworld feature
“While Richards believes his unique experience has well-prepared him for the transition across the pond, he doesn’t underestimate the rigors of the NBA season.
“I think coming in the NBA, I don’t think it’ll be that difficult for me to adapt to it just because I’ve been in the professional environment for two years now, and I don’t think that will be an issue,” notes Richards. “I think the 82 games would be pretty different, a lot more games. I think England and the states…it’s pretty similar in some ways. I don’t think that would be an issue; just playing-wise, I think the biggest issue would be playing the games and the speed of the games.””
Hoopsworld run a feature on Ryan Richards after (apparently) interviewing him (I can’t work out whether parts of this actually are an exclusive interview, or whether it’s all taken from other interviews he’s done).
-June 1st 2010: Memphis Grizzlies Workout
Ryan Richards is a legit seven footer, but has shown an ability to use a dribble or two to create a shot.
The first tweet about the workout from the official Memphis Grizzlies twitter stream.
Richards is a 19-year-old, 7-foot project. He struggled to finish on simple post moves early on in the workout but got better as the day went on.
The Commercial Appeal’s blog publishes the first bit of feedback about Richard’s Memphis workout.
-June 2nd 2010: More Memphis Workout Feedback/Kings Workout Scheduled
It’s on the outside where Englands’ Ryan Richards likes to Roam, despite being 7-Feet Tall. Richards has played professionally since he was 15-years old.. That was after he played here in the Nike Hoop Summit 4-years ago. Just 19 now, he says he’s ready for the big time.
WMCTV publishes another small bit about Richards after his Memphis workout.
“They put us in game situations a lot,” Richards said, “and that made it clear they wanted to see if we would make good decisions.”
The Commercial Appeal talks through what the Grizzlies were looking for in the workout, including this short quote from Richards.
NBA Draft All-Access post three videos showing Ryan Richards workouts with the Memphis Grizzlies.
And if that’s not enough for you, here’s the lineup for Tuesday’s workout, which includes almost every top post player in the draft:
Ekpe Udoh, 6-10, 240, Baylor
Hassan Whiteside, 7-0, 235, Marshall
Cole Aldrich, 6-11, 250, Kansas
Ryan Richards, 6-10, 225, Kalise Gran Canaria
Patrick Patterson, 6-8, 223, Kentucky
Daniel Orton, 6-10, 260, Kentucky
Workout with the Sacramento Kings is scheduled for Tuesday according to The Sacramento Bee.
-June 3rd 2010: Golden State Workout Scheduled
The Warriors are bringing some intriguing draft prospects into Oakland for workouts over the weekend, including Marshall shot-blocker Hassan Whiteside and 19-year-old Ryan Richards from England.
San Francisco Chronicle beat writer reports the Warriors are bringing in Ryan Richards for a workout Sunday.
-June 5th 2010: Examiner Q & A/Chicago or Detroit?
“I’ve worked out with Detroit, Chicago, Minnesota, San Antonio, Toronto, and Memphis. It’s my goal in life, I’m eligible, and I’m ready to do it–I want to give it a shot.”
Sherron Shabazz of Examiner.com sits down with Ryan Richards for a quick Q & A. Find out he has also worked out for San Antonio, and Toronto (not in the timeline), also he picks England to win the World Cup 2010!
“He’s being closely monitored by the Bulls and the Pistons”
A Boston Celtics forum member who claims to be friends with Ryan’s brother says he is being monitored closely by Chicago and Detroit.
-June 6th 2010: More Workouts Scheduled
Richards, a 6-11 3/4, 230-pounder who played in Spain and Switzerland last season, burst onto the NBA scene at the combine last month and is taking advantage of the momentum. He has already been to workouts at Chicago, Detroit and San Antonio and will go to Sacramento, Utah, Milwaukee, New York and Houston.
“It’s been real different, and I’m enjoying every minute of it,” Richards said. “Nobody knows me, so a lot of people want to see me.”
The only bit of information I could find after his workout with Golden State, goes on to say he is also going to be working out for Utah, Milwaukee, New York and Houston.
“Like most NBA GMs, I did not know much about Richards until I saw him at the NBA Draft Combine. Until then, he was a bit of an unknown commodity. From what I saw and what I have been reading about reaction to his abilities, he really impressed. He measured in at a hair under seven feet with shoes on and a solid 230 pounds which is impressive for somebody who just turned 19 years old a few weeks ago. His build sort of reminds me of Dwight Howard when he entered the league – lean and muscular but still with plenty of room to get stronger. Skillwise, he is still developing and will likely be stashed overseas for a year or two before he comes to the league.”
The Sportsbank has this to say about Richards in a mailbag writeup. A lot of people are talking about keeping him overseas to develop…
-June 7th 2010: NBA.com Draft Prospect Profile Video
“I’ve played in quite a few leagues in Europe, I’ve been around a lot of people that could have been in the league but they stayed in Europe, that played in the D-league, that played in college and from what I’ve hear and just from what I’ve seen and (when) I’ve worked out with other players I think that I’m ready to do it now.”
NBA.com release this NBA Draft 2010 video, profiling Ryan Richards.
Strengths: Mobile. Has great length at the forward position. Aggressive scorer. Good shooting touch. Solid rebounder.
Come across Ryan’s NBA.com Draft profile for the first time.
June 8th 2010: Kings Draft Workout Video/Hawks Workout
Video goes online of Ryan Richards workout with the Sacramento Kings, as well as an interview afterwards talking about his potential to play the 3 spot in the NBA.
Offensively, Ekpe Udoh was probably the most polished, although Ryan Richards showed some polish on that end as well Ryan Richards seems like a nice guy with a Channing Frye type of game. He’s got a nice range on his jumper (didn’t see him attempt any 3s but I think he could hit them) and he’s pretty quick. He’s also long, but not very strong.
Feedback on Richard’s Kings workout from SactownRoyalty.com.
Tuesday, June 22 Larry Sanders, Ryan Richards, Latavious Williams, Solomon Alabi, Samardo Samuels, Daniel Orton, Tory Jackson, Joe Dukes
It is announced the Atlanta Hawks have a scheduled workout with Richards on June 22 (8 days after the early entry withdrawal deadline). Strongest sign yet Richards definitely keeping his name in?
“This is going to seem pretty random, but I have a fun story to share. I was just picking up my Brother in Law at the airport, who was returning from an LDS mission. I noticed a tall lanky guy who looked to have the build of a basketball player. From behind I thought, “that guy looks like Ryan Richards”. When I approached him, I realized that it was Richards, so I said, “Hey Richards”. He turned around and looked down at me. I shook his hand and asked, “trying out with the Jazz tomorrow” and he looked thoroughly shocked. I’ve been around NBA players many times before (I used to be an autograph hound) and I have never seen someone so shocked that a random person knew them.
I said, “hey good luck. I hope you’re the next Jazz man” and he was clearly still pretty surprised that I actually knew who he was. Anyway, I thought it was cool. Seems like a good kid. I wish him well.”
‘The27guy’ a user on the NBAdraft.net forum posts this great story about seeing Ryan at the airport (read to the bottom of the thread to see another funny one).
June 9th 2010: Utah Jazz workout interview
The Utah Jazz publish a nice interview with Ryan Richards from after his workout with them.
June 11th 2010: NY Knicks Workout Scheduled
“…The NY Knicks will be conducting predraft workouts at MSG Training Center Monday with:
• Landry Fields, G/F, Stanford
• Darington Hobson, G, New Mexico
• Armon Johnson, G, Nevada
• Nkem Ojougboh, C, Northeastern
• Scottie Reynolds, G, Villinova
• Ryan Richards, F/C, England…”
The Knicks Blog reports Richards has a scheduled workout with New York this coming Monday.
13th June 2010: Top 5 International Players in the Draft
“These past few weeks have been very beneficial for Ryan Richards. He went from being a virtual unknown to a second round pick that was the subject of a lot of interest at the Chicago pre-draft combine. Richards is purely a project though that will require a good deal of time.
Richards needs to get stronger in order to survive inside. He also needs a lot of work on his offensive game, which is far from NBA ready. His length will be his greatest asset early on, but Richards won’t be ready for major minutes until at least 2012.”
Came across this article published on the 8th June, naming Richards as one of the top 5 international players in the draft.
14th June 2010: Golden State Warriors Workout/Interview
The Golden State Warriors upload a video interviewing Richards after his workout with them (also showing portions of the workout).
“English big man Ryan Richards staying in the draft according to agent. He didn’t get 1st round promise, but wants to play in NBA next year”
“I’ve made my decision, I’m staying in the draft this year”
Ryan Richards himself confirms this in an interview after his Knicks workout that is released online.
June 17th 2010: British Press
“Teenage basketball prodigy and former Crusaders star Ryan Richards could be set to sign for a team in the NBA this month.
Richards, from Sittingbourne, turned 19 in April. He began his career at 13 with the Crusaders – who now play at Medway Park – before moving to Spain in 2006 to join Gran Canaria’s academy.”
Ryan Richards finally gets some attention in a British paper (even though it’s only a local!)
“Another international big. Bear in mind I’ve seen very little of these players when compared to how much I’ve seen of the college guys. But through mix tapes and some Saturday Euroleague games, I’ve got a sense of their capabilities. And Richards is a guy that impressed a bit at the NBA Combine. For a 19-year-old he’s well-developed in terms of strength and has even more room to grow there. He’s not the most natural player though. He looks a little awkward and that’s not just because he’s left-handed. He’d not overly athletic though he’s physical and will rebound. He’s pretty much on the other spectrum of the big man world than Pleiss and probably doesn’t have as much upside, but if he drops into the later second, he could be a fit.”
June 18th 2010: Bucks Workout Scheduled
“While Seraphin won’t be working out for the Bucks, two other big men are expected to go through a battery of drills Monday at the Cousins Center. They are Hassan Whiteside of Marshall and Ryan Richards, a native of London who played in Switzerland last season.”
Richards has a workout scheduled with Milwaukee on Monday 21st June.
June 21st 2010: Hoopshype Interview
“I definitely think I’m ready. I’ve been playing in Europe four years. I’ve been honing my game, working out every day twice a day for the last four years. I think I’m ready. I definitely need to improve my strength and playing experience, but they are two things that you’re going to improve just with time and getting in the gym.”
Real nice, insightful interview with Ryan Richards from HoopsHype.
“Richards’ goal on draft night? “Just get my name called,” he said. “A team that wants me, a team that welcomes me that I can help straight away. If it’s No. 1 or No. 60, it doesn’t bother me as long as I can help the team.”
A small bit of feedback from Richards’ workout with Milwaukee from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal with Richards explaining he doesn’d mind where he goes.
“Two other European bigs, Kevin Seraphin and Ryan Richards are reaping the benefits from being the next best players in line. Richards is a different case. While he is also a raw athlete, Richards would prefer to develop in the D-League. This would be useful to teams since they would simply need to move Richards up rather than having to buyout his deal. He also has a better Youtube highlight reel than Seraphin too.”
DimeMag shows Ryan Richards some love as a player who could be climbing the draft board on Thursday (and features the Hoopsfix mixtape of him :)).
“We have a second-round pick at No. 34, and he would be somebody we’d be looking at with that pick,” said Warriors GM Larry Riley. “But he is the type of guy where somebody might fall in love with him at Nos. 23 or 25 and he’s not even available to us.”
Sports Illustrated run a great feature on him, where he is mentioned by Warriors GM Larry Riley as going as high as 23 or 25 in the first round (and they also feature the Hoopsfix mixtape!).
June 22nd 2010: Won’t go past 33
“British center Ryan Richards isn’t expected to get past the Kings with the 33rd pick”
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski states the Kings will likely select Richards if he is still available with the 33rd pick.
June 23rd 2010: As high as 27?
“27. New Jersey. Ryan Richards, C, England. This may be too high for Richards, but there are so many GMs saying positive things about the multidimensional big man that it seems he has to sneak into the first round.”
The Sporting News blogs has more positive news for Richards’ draft chances.
June 24th 2010: Draft Day
“I will be watching the draft with my agent, friends from England, trainer, and a couple of people I have met here (Chicago). I see myself going anywhere between 20-36, late first round, early 2nd round.”
In a draft day interview with Court Cred, Richards says he expects to go late first round, early 2nd round.
“Teenage Ryan Richards could become the next British basketball talent snapped up by an NBA franchise tonight.
Richards, 6ft 11in, is among the young hopefuls bidding to follow Luol Deng and Ben Gordon in raising the Union Jack among the multi-millionaire superstars of the sport’s richest league.”
In what I believe to the first peice of UK national press coverage (even if it is only online), the Mirror put out a small peice on Richards.
“The kid from England, Ryan Richards, can really play,” said Henry, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Kansas who is expected to go in the first 15 picks. “He showed me a lot of things. He’s a Euro-type of player, but he’s real smart and all of his moves are fast-paced. He can also shoot. That’s something he can do really well. He’s nearly 7 feet and when you have a 7-foot guy that can shoot and plays smart, I think that’s someone who can do some good things in the league.”
Lottery prospect Xavier Henry picks Richards as his under-the-radar player who will make an impact on the league.
“50: Dallas Mavericks-Ryan Richards”
Richards finally appears on a legit mock draft, at number 50 to Dallas over at NBADraft.net.
“If I have one NBA Draft rule, it’s don’t take a British teenager. But there has to be an exception to every rule. He is a 6’10” bundle of raw, but with great athleticism and a smooth jumper. To me the second round should be about risks. This is the kind of guy you draft then send to the D-League for a year or two. Get him some personal coaching. He hasn’t found a home in Europe and may be a guy who is a good athlete but has no feel for the game. The playgrounds of Kent don’t teach you that. But he also could learn and turn out to be special. He’s worth the risk after pick 40.”
Great little writeup on Richards from Pro Basketball Talk.
“With the 49th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs select…”
Putting an end to the weeks of workouts, Ryan Richards is selected with the 49th pick in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs.
“English big man Ryan Richards goes No. 49 to San Antonio. Was great in workouts but doesn’t have a lot of playing experience. A big if”
Chad Ford’s tweet on the Spurs draft pick.
25th June 2010: Press
Great Britain prospect Ryan Richards was selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the NBA Draft as the Washington Wizards made Kentucky point guard John Wall was made the top overall pick.
The 19-year-old forward was the 49th overall pick in the draft among the 60 players who heard their names called at Madison Square Garden.
“Relatively unknown British basketball player Ryan Richards, who isnt even in the Great Britain national squad, has sensationally been picked by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the NBA Draft.”
The Telegraph gets in on the act, with this little feature about Richards getting drafted.
“He’s a gifted athlete, and a pretty good shooter,” general manager R.C. Buford said. “That shooting ‘4’ role for us has been pretty important. We’ll see how long it takes him to get ready for this opportunity.”
Spurs GM R. C. Buford chimes in with his thoughts on drafting Richards.
“I like this pick. It’s a very long term project (Richards just turned 19) but he has a lot of size and seems to have some interesting skills.
Richards doesn’t want to be stashed so we will see what will happens:
– Spurs can sign and let him work in Austin. Toros are a great tool to develop players and Spurs could use it with him.
– Spurs can convince him to go back in Europe. Spurs have a lot of connections with European basketball and they can find a good team for his development.”
Really interesting thread over on SpursTalk.com, with members discussing Richards and his options.