The NBA Draft Combine has officially come to an end in Chicago and I’m here to give you guys the scoop on just what down the 2nd day at Quest Multisport. If you missed my day 1 report, you can check it out here.
Zach LaVine – UCLA – One of the rawest prospects I’ve seen in awhile, it didn’t take long to see what the intrigue is what LaVine. His athleticism is off the charts. There was one point today during a simulated fast break, that LaVine rose for a dunk and made nearly everyone in the building gasp. Oddly reminiscent of another UCLA guard that came into the league recently really raw, but with incredible athleticism…
Aaron Gordon – Arizona – I say this with all due respect to Aaron and his family. But he is an absolute physical freak. With a 39 inch vertical, Gordon posted the 3rd highest in combine history only behind Miles Plumlee and Tyrus Thomas. Add on an extremely quick 10.8 seconds in the lane agility drill, Gordon was clearly the best athlete among the power forwards.
Dante Exum – Australia – I put Exum in the group that struggled yesterday because he didn’t participate in drills. While he still chose not to do the majority of drills, he ran a 3.19 second in the 3/4 court sprint. Really gave me a chance to see his stride and just how good of an athlete he is. I still don’t know much about the Australian product, but he certainly made me raise an eyebrow with some of the physical tools he possesses.
Players who Struggled
Aaron Craft – Ohio State – I love Craft’s intangibles, but he just simply looked outclassed in some of the 2-on-2 drills. Even when you thought he might stand out defensively, there were a couple times the ball handler just blew by him with superior athleticism. Craft then let us know that he hasn’t interviewed with any teams yet, not a great sign considering other prospects have had multiple interviews at this point. I like Craft, but I’ll be interested to see if he hears his name called at all on draft night.
Jerami Grant – Syracuse – Coming into the combine I already knew the Syracuse product was a great athlete, I just questioned his ability to hit open shots at the next level. Grant didn’t do much to change my mind, struggling to hit most of his jumpers. Then measuring in at under 6’8″ for a power forward, there are some serious concerns about what position Grant will play at the next level.
I’m a big believer of putting more stock into the game tape than a combine, so everything that happened these past two days has to be kept in perspective. But with many top prospects sidelined and not participating, the combine almost felt like a glorified work convention than a true site to see all of the best prospects. I’ll be interested to see how the NBA handles it moving forward, but the event took a major hit with all the huge names that backed out.