Today was day two of the NBA Draft Combine, and the players went through various athletic testing including vertical jump and lane agility. Here's what happened.
Today the players at the NBA Draft Combine went from showcasing their physical measurements to displaying their athleticism...or lack thereof.
For a full list of all the athletic testing numbers, go here.
Now that we have all or most of the measurables and athletic testing results for the players in attendance, we can take a look at some of the players who helped their stock over the past two days, and why.
Noah Vonleh, PF, Indiana
Not only did Vonleh measure out as one of the best power forwards in the draft physically, athletically, he graded out near the top as well. Vonleh posted the third best max vertical among power forwards and centers at 37". Combine that with his 7'4.25" wingspan, his 9'0" standing reach, and his enormous hands that measure 11.75" wide...and you are looking at an extremely high ceiling for a post player. In addition, Noah is one of the best shooting big men in the draft as well...hitting .485 of his three point attempts at Indiana last season. Vonleh was already considered to be a top-10 pick, but with his combine performance, he may find himself in the top 5 as long as his workouts go well.
Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
Gordon was considered a tweener by many...but he showed that he is more than capable of playing with the big boys at the Combine. Gordon came in at just under 6'9" with shoes...and he's only 18, so he may still be growing. Not only that, but his nearly 7 foot wingspan and 8'9" standing reach put him right in the upper-middle of the power forward prospects. However, his athleticism is what really sets him apart. Gordon had the single best max vertical among power forwards at 39". Not only that, he was also fist among power forwards in his lane agility time, and had the best shuttle time out of all positions at only 2.76 seconds. Very impressive numbers for Gordon.
Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA
If you've ever watched LaVine play, you already know he's super athletic...and he simply confirmed that with his results at the combine. LaVine graded out with the best overall lane agility time at 10.42, the second best overall shuttle time at 2.80, as well as the third highest overall max vertical at 41.5", and the fourth highest overall standing vertical at 33.5. When you add that to the fact that LaVine also measured out at nearly 6'6" in shoes and has a great stroke with NBA range on his shot...you can see why he has a ton of upside and potential.
Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
Stauskas is known mostly as a lights-out shooter...but his Combine performance shows he can do more than just that. Not only did Stauskas measure in as the third tallest shooting guard in shoes at 6'6.5", he had the 5th best max vertical (35.5") and shuttle time (2.92), and the second best lane agility time among shooting guards. Stauskas will no doubt be primarily a shooter in the NBA, but these athletic results show he is very capable of defending the perimeter and staying in front of his man on the other end of the court as well.
Dante Exum, PG, Australia
Exum may have helped himself most by simply by showing up and letting the scouts and team representatives see his game first hand. However, it certainly doesn't hurt that he measured in at 6'6" in shoes with a 6'9.5" wingspan...which is great size for a point guard. In addition, Exum registered the second best lane agility time overall at 10.75, and the 6th best shuttle time at 2.88. His standing (31.5") and max (34.5) verticals were nothing special, but they showed that he definitely has enough lift to play above the rim...and combined with his agility and size, makes for one of best overall point guard prospects in the draft.
Others who impressed or surprised in one or more areas: Nick Johnson (41.5" max vertical, 10.80 lane agility), Patric Young (37.5" max vertical, 25 bench press reps), Doug McDermott (36.5" max verticle)
Ryan McDonough Speaks
A nice little bonus during the NBA Draft Combine coverage today was an interview with the Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough, who answered some questions about their plans in the coming NBA draft.
First he was asked about Aaron Gordon and what he thought about his free throw percentage, which was terrible last season at only 42%. McDonough said that he thought Gordon was a better free throw shooter than his stats would indicate, and that he has good form overall, leading him to believe it is correctable and may have been more mental than anything.
The Suns GM went on to once again allude to the fact that the Suns will be looking to either move up in the draft, or trade draft picks from a star player. McDonough talked about how the Suns have three draft picks this year and as many as three next year, plus rookies Alex Len and Archie Goodwin already on the team. He stated that they aren't looking to bring in as many as eight new players onto the roster, and are looking to win now...being that they were only one game removed from making the playoffs this year.
When asked if the Suns would be active on draft night..."We're going to be very active."