Charlotte Hornets

After 11 workouts, NC State’s Cat Barber is expert at NBA auditions

N.C. State’s Anthony "Cat" Barber, here at the NBA Combine, has been all over the country auditioning for 11 teams.
N.C. State’s Anthony "Cat" Barber, here at the NBA Combine, has been all over the country auditioning for 11 teams. AP

There is probably not much an NBA team could throw at Cat Barber that he wouldn’t anticipate.

Barber, the former N.C. State point guard, attended his 11th workout Friday when he auditioned for the Charlotte Hornets. He figures at this point he’s pretty much seen it all as far as teams putting him through his paces.

“A lot of these workouts are the same. They expect the same things,” Barber said. “It’s about consistency – making shots.”

Barber did that well last season, averaging 23.5 points for the Wolfpack. He turned pro with a season of college eligibility remaining, primarily to financially support his 18-month-old daughter.

Barber is no lock to be a first-round pick which, under NBA rules, guarantees at least two seasons of salary. But he felt ready to move on from college basketball and into the working world. And he’d love to play for the Hornets, who he followed while at N.C. State.

“I know it a lot (about them). I came to the last regular-season game,” Barber said. “I’d love to come in and play behind Kemba Walker.”

Barber believes he’ll make a career in the NBA via his explosiveness and offensive creativity.

“My quickness, my speed, the way I get into the lane. Get to the foul line, get to the pull-up,” Barber said of his strengths. “I’ve always been an energizing guy.”

Maintaining that energy is a chore these days with him flying all around the country for workouts. Barber was on the West Coast, auditioning for the Clippers, before flying east to audition for the Hornets.

“You have to get your rest and eat right. The travel and the time change, it’s tough,” he said. “But a lot of people wish they got this opportunity, so I’ll take advantage of it.”

Barber’s agent told him he could go as early as the 20s in the June 23 draft (late first round) or somewhere in the second round. He’ll have at least three more workouts before the draft. The Hornets pick 22nd overall.

“Rest, drink a lot of water and stay healthy,” Barber said of his approach. “I’ve always had a motor.”

Bonnell: 704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell

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