The NBA Draft Combine tipped off Wednesday, and aside from the always captivating official measurements, teams are scurrying to meet up with the prospects they are coveting. These meetings spur a series of media-generated rumors that pertain to teams looking to either move up or down in the draft. They may reveal parts of their draft board, or they're simply shelled-out smokescreens to dupe other GM's into second-guessing themselves. I think we all remember those lingering rumors regarding the Cavs trading up to No. 2 to select Bradley Beal around this time last year.
Long story short: take everything with a grain of salt. Teams will do their due diligence on any prospect they think will be around when they pick. It's why the Wizards requested a pre-draft workout with Evan Turner three years ago. Ernie Grunfeld trusts his scouts and brain trust, and will exhaust every avenue before June 27th.
Onto the official draft measurements, via ESPN.com's Chad Ford.
|Name||Position||Height w/o shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight (lbs)||Wingspan||Reach|
|Otto Porter Jr||SF||6'7.5"||6'8.5"||197.6||7'1.5"||8'9.5"|
Some random takeaways from the combine and measurements:
- Nerlens Noel tested out very well and put all concerns about his height to rest. He's a legitimate center in the NBA, and while he absolutely needs to bulk up in the coming months (this may not be wise immediately while recovering from an ACL tear), he's still a lock to go in the top 2 of the draft.
- I didn't think it was possible, but Otto Porter is lengthier than I thought. He's also a twig right now that needs to bulk up before teams get creative and play him at the 4 in spurts, but his freakish measurements have reached Kawhi Leonard territory.
- Both Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo solidified themselves as shooting guards. I don't normally go out on a limb after the combine, but you're not starting them at small forward in the NBA. I still believe Oladipo will be able to guard small forward down the stretch of games due to his wingspan and tenacity on that end of the floor, but all those pipe dreams about bringing him in to be the starting SF should cease immediately. A 6'9.25'' wingspan is impressive for a 2, though.
- Shabazz Muhammad, one of the few projected lottery prospects actively participating in the combine, backed up his reputation as a hard worker with a tireless motor. He didn't show out well in one on one drills, nor did he shoot the ball particularly well, but all of that will be further perused in team workouts. I came away most impressed with his interview with the media, he was very straightforward in his responses, especially those that related to the age scandal. His measurements weren't good, though, and teams are reportedly worried about him.
- If anyone came out as the winner of the draft combine, it's Rudy Gobert, who now holds the record for largest wingspan measured at the Combine at 7'8.5". For good measure, he topped JaVale McGee in wingspan and standing reach, while being exactly 2 inches taller in shoes. He was seen blocking everything in sight, looked to be a fluid athlete and showed off a nice looking jump shot. He has a real chance of skyrocketing up draft boards.
- Steven Adams measured in at 7'0" with a massive 7'4" wingspan. Yet his biggest claim to fame on Thursday was the smooth mid-range jumper he showcased during drills, looking extremely comfortable stepping out and hitting the 16 footer. Developing a pick and pop game would do wonders for his draft stock, as his primary function in college was nothing more than cleaning up the offensive glass. He did mention Washington as a team he'd like to go to, citing Wall as the main reason.
- For all the hoopla regarding Cody Zeller's trex arms, it was Kelly Olynyk who posted an unusually short wingspan at 6'9.75", which is about equal to what Victor Oladipo measured.
- And speaking of Zeller, he helped ease concerns with his wingspan, and being a shade over 7'0" with shoes is very good for a PF. He didn't test too well athletically with just an 8'10" standing reach, but his exceptional ability to run the floor and his decent lateral quickness is more than enough to compensate for his lack of above the rim play.
- One of the popular picks to go to Washington in the second round, Allen Crabbe (I'll have more on him in the coming weeks), had a tremendous day at the combine. I had to look twice at his wingspan just to make sure I was reading it correctly. He also proved to be a better athlete than I realized, and shot the ball very well on Thursday. For what it's worth during his interview with the media, he sort of hinted at playing the 3 in small ball lineups, which I think would work extremely well.
- Anthony Bennett was not present in Chicago for the Combine after undergoing successful rotator cuff surgery on May 8th. He will miss all individual workouts as well as Summer League.
- Alex Len was unable to participate in the combine as he recovers from surgery on a partial ankle stress fracture. He was seen on crutches and met with several teams, but wasn't available for measurements for obvious reasons.