NBA scouts, front offices, GMs, coaches and fans drool over a player's measurements. We can watch them play the game amongst their current peers, but a part of projecting them into a bigger, faster league is to look at how they measure up physically.
The Phoenix Suns have openly said they are looking at perimeter scoring in this draft. To a man, every player on the team, every coach and every front office person has said for a year and a half now that the Suns need more juice on the perimeter.
They need a guy who can not only hit the big shot in the closing minutes, but create it for himself too. Steve Nash should not be expected, at age 39, to create every single open shot for the team. The biggest hole on a holy roster is at SG. Ideally, the Suns would have someone who can take their opponent off the dribble, plus hit an open jumper, plus play defense at the other end of the court.
To do all those things, you need the tangibles. It's easier to defend big guards in the post if you're tall and thick. It's easier to deflect passes and disrupt the opponent if your arms are long. It's easier to catch the ball for a shot or a steal, and to wrestle the ball from an opponent if your hands are large.
The measurements came out yesterday for all prospects. Let's take a look at how the shooting guard prospects measured up.
First things first. Again, this is just the shooting guards projected in the 6-20 range today.
Height (with playing shoes on):
- Terrence Ross - 6'7"
- Jeremy Lamb - 6'5 1/4"
- Austin Rivers - 6'5"
- Dion Waiters - 6'4"
- Gordon Hayward - 6'8"
- Nick Young - 6'7"
- Brandon Rush - 6'6 1/2"
- Kobe Bryant - 6'6"
- Randy Foye - 6'4"
- Mo Williams - 6'1"
- Brandon Roy - 6'7"
- Michael Redd - 6'6"
- Jason Richardson - 6'6"
- Dwyane Wade - 6'5"
- Richard Hamilton - 6'7"
- Joe Johnson - 6'7"
- Jason Terry - 6'2"
- Vince Carter - 6'6"
- Manu Ginobili - 6'6"
- Allen Iverson - 6'0"
- Ray Allen - 6'5"
As you can see, the better shooting guards are generally on the top end of the height scale for their position. It allows them to get their shot off over top of the defender, no matter how tightly they are being covered. None of this year's top SG prospects are even 6'6" except for Terrence Ross.
Height isn't everything though. A short neck can lose you an all-important inch or two but have no bearing on your overall length. No one shoots the ball with their head. Let's take a look at wingspan, which helps get that shot off. For reference, the average person's wingspan = height from floor to top of head.
Wingspan and standing reach, an indication of overall length, among the Suns' prospects:
- Jeremy Lamb 6'11" wingspan, 8'5" standing reach
- Terrence Ross, 6'7 1/4" wingspan, 8'5" standing reach
- Dion Waiters, 6'7 1/4" wingspan, 8'2" standing reach
- Austin Rivers, 6'7 1/4" wingspan, 8'1" standing reach
- Gordon Hayward, 6'7 3/4" wingspan, 8'7" standing reach
- Nick Young, 7'0" wingspan, 8'4.5" standing reach
- Brandon Rush, 6'11 1/4" wingspan, 8'8 1/2" standing reach
- Randy Foye, 6'6 1/4" wingspan, 8'1" standing reach
- Brandon Roy, 6'8" wingspan, 8'5" standing reach
- Dwyane Wade, 6'10 3/4" wingspan, 8'6" standing reach
- Mo Williams, 6'5 1/2" wingspan, 8'2.5" standing reach
Jeremy Lamb measures most favorably to these guys in terms of length, but again this class as a whole doesn't measure up in length with either their peers in the Pacific or the best in the game.
But is that a harbinger of doom? Not necessarily.
Length isn't everything. Brandon Rush's length is what got him drafted in the top 10, but he has not produced like a top 10 player. Nick Young has a sweet stroke, and his length likely helps him get his shot off over anyone, but he hasn't been a star either. Randy Foye and Mo Williams are quality players despite coming up short in length, though it took them a few years to find their way and neither is an all-star by any means.
Today, the prospects compete in terms of agility, and thickness also plays a part in the tangible as well. Don't forget those things. Oh yeah, and there's the overall talent thing.
Have at it folks. What do you think about length, when it comes to shooting guards?