The NBA Draft Combine kicked off early this morning and Quest Multisport was packed as draft prospects, media members, and team executives all converged together to see who would stand out from the rest of the participants. While there were some big names missing, some key prospects did jump on the opportunity to steal the spotlight. Here’s my thoughts on who stood out, and who hurt their stock today.
PJ Hairston – Texas (D-League)/UNC – A talented player with some off the court issues, I had my eye on Hairston coming into the day because I thought this was a huge opportunity for him to solidify his stock and perhaps even move up some team’s boards. Hairston did not disappoint, showing great long range shooting ability during drills and reminding us in attendance why he was he has serious NBA potential.
Jordan MacRae – Tennessee – One of my favorite under the radar players coming into today, I loved MacRae’s versatility. He showed me today he compliments that with a solid jump shot, and the potential to be a solid defender at the next level given his length.
Roy Devyn Marble – Iowa – Marble along with Hairston really separated themselves from the other guards in their group. Showcasing solid lateral quickness in defensive drills, Marble showcased a pretty left handed floater during a contested shot drill. When it comes to the Iowa product, versatility is his greatest asset.
Rodney Hood – Duke – It doesn’t take one long to see the natural talent in Hood’s game that have made him a projected first round pick in this year’s class. The smooth lefty impressed me in the defensive drills and his length was a huge asset while contesting shots.
Players Who Struggled
Gary Harris – Michigan State – Harris didn’t participate in workouts, but it was his recorded measurements that had the media section talking. Harris checked in at 6’2″ without shoes, really small for a projected 2-guard at the next level. While Harris is talented, it does make one pause when you consider he will be at a height disadvantage the majority of nights.
Dante Exum – Australia – The top 5 prospect with a cloud of mystery around him, I was anticipating being able to watch Exum live myself and see what all the hype was about. Exum chose not to participate in drills, a major disappointment in my opinion. He did measure in at 6’6″, massive for a point guard.
One thing I did take note of was just how few of the top projected picks decided to work out. The majority of the names you’ll hear first come draft night were all on the sidelines watching today and some didn’t come at all. Troubling for the NBA, as it takes away from the whole value of the event.
Regardless, BSO will be back for day 2 of the combine tomorrow so be sure to be on the lookout for my recap of tomorrow as well.