Few people have enjoyed a closer look at Guillermo Diaz over the past couple of years than David Thorpe, whose work you probably know from ESPN.com.  Thorpe runs a pro training camp down in Florida where he's trained dozens of pro and college players, Diaz among them.  He was kind enough to share some impressions of Diaz from the six weeks he trained him during the weeks before the 2006 draft:

  • I loved the young man, and as I often told him, if he didn't already have
    a family I'd be first in line to adopt him.  But he can be very
    tempermental, I'm told (he wasn't that way for me at all) in the wrong
    environment.

  • He is lightning fast and quick.

  • He became a terrific shooter.  I didn't like how he looked this summer,
    but last summer he was awesome.

  • He is better than Daniel Gibson, in my opinion, in terms of pure talent
    and skill.

  • He is fun to play with.

  • His only problem, and it may be a career killer, are the people in his
    inner circle.  An infamous AAU connection that I see as deeply manipulative
    and  not too bright.  

There are few archetypes in sports less attractive than "the AAU coach," though I'm sure there are countless that are great mentors.  The suggestion here is that the Clips held off on offering Diaz a guaranteed contract, but will probably take a protracted look at him during training camp.  With Elton down, you have to think that the Clips might be more apt to give a scorer like Diaz a more generous opportunity.