What We learned from the NBA Draft Measurements and Combine

What We learned from the NBA Draft Measurements and Combine
Jun 03, 2008, 10:43 pm
We've been very outspoken in the past about the dangers of reading too much into the measurements and combine numbers. If you didn't read our article from last year on that topic, you are strongly encouraged to do so.

What makes the release of the measurement and combine numbers so interesting, though, is the plethora of new information we're presented with, some of which directly contradicts things we've heard, read or thought we saw with our own eyes. These numbers obviously have their limitations, but it's hard not to get excited when they come out. The problem is when you throw everything you know about a players' strengths and weaknesses, and use the numbers as your only tool to compare between them. Obviously this only tells a very small part of the story, and in regards to the combine, might not tell you any part of the story depending on the player.

With that said, let's take a look at what we learned from the numbers released exclusively on DraftExpress today.

All heights will be discussed without shoes (so add an inch and a quarter approximately in your head for their likely NBA listings)—in order to put all players on the same standing. Some (like J.R. Giddens, Donte Greene, Darnell Jackson) gained only ¾ of an inch from being measured in shoes, while others (like Kevin Love) gained as much as an inch and 3/4.

-Joe Alexander (38 ½ inch max-vertical, 24 reps, 2.99 ¾ Court Sprint) is a freak

We had that confirmed to us two weeks ago already when we went to watch him workout on Las Vegas, but it's good to see that in print. His measurements (6-7 ¼ without shoes, 6-11 ½ wingspan, 220 pounds) are ideal for an NBA small forward. We know his work ethic is top notch, so it's not hard to envision him improving on his below-average skill-level substantially as well over the next few years. If he has good workouts, it wouldn't be hard to see him surpassing Danilo Gallinari as the top small forward in this draft.

Also posting impressive all-around numbers: Sony Weems (all-time record 2.96 ¾ court sprint) Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Nelson, Bryce Taylor

-D.J. Augustin (5-10 ½ without shoes) is short

Augustin is about to become the 3rd shortest player in our measurements database to be drafted, behind Nate Robinson and Brevin Knight. We don't have every NBA player there, but we have a lot. Will he be able to see the floor and defend his position well enough? His standing reach (comparable to Luke Ridnour, Jameer Nelson, Mike Conley Jr) slightly compensates for that, but that might just be enough to scare away the LA Clippers at #7. Whether that's smart or not, we will see in time. There is absolutely no question that Augustin can play.

Also measuring out a bit shorter than expected: Derrick Rose (6-1 ½ without shoes, listed at 6-4 in college), Lester Hudson (5-11 ¾ without shoes, listed at 6-3 in college), DeMarcus Nelson (6-1 without shoes, listed at 6-4 in college), Joey Dorsey (6-6 ¼ without shoes, listed at 6-9 in college)

-Eric Gordon deserves a second look

Gordon's all-around numbers are superb, as he's got a wingspan befitting of a shooting guard at 6-9, is very strong (15 reps, 222 pounds, only a freshman), he can jump (40 inch vert), is very fast (3rd best time) and very agile (7th best time).

-Jerryd Bayless (6-3 ½ wingspan, 8-1 standing reach) has very short arms

We've known this for a while now, but Bayless measuring a near-identical wingspan to his height is not going to help his cause with those that already question how well he'll be able to defend NBA point guards, let alone shooting guards (he's more of a combo at this point remember). He doesn't stack up well at all in that category.

Also in the alligator arms department: Donte Greene (6-8 ¼ without shoes 6-10 wingspan), Brian Butch, Jiri Hubalek, Maarty Leunen, O.J. Mayo (6-3 ¼ without shoes, 6-6 wingspan), Ty Lawson (5-10 ¾, 6-1 wingspan) Brian Roberts

-Michael Beasley's measurements aren't that bad

A lot of people gasped at first when they saw Beasley measuring in at just 6-7 in shoes. Looking further though, you see that he has a very good wingspan and standing reach, similar to Al Horford's (7-0 ¾, 8-11). His combine numbers tell us a bit about the combination of strength, speed and agility he brings to the table, which will help him as a rebounder and, hopefully in time, as a defender.

Neither are Kevin Love's- 6-7 ¾ without shoes, 6-11 ¼ wingspan, 8-10 standing reach and solid all-around combine numbers are probably better than most people initially anticipated.

-Keith Brumbaugh has very little chance of being drafted

Between being arrested 6 times, playing terribly in the pre-draft camp, weighing 190 pounds (on a 6-9 frame), posting mediocre combine numbers, and having a wingspan that is an inch and a half shorter than his height, things look to be pretty stacked against Brumbaugh at the moment. If he was some kind of prodigious talent teams might be willing to overlook his disastrous rap sheet, but he clearly isn't.

-Patrick Ewing can jump

His 42 inch max-vertical leap ranks as the 3rd best figure ever measured at the combine, which is very impressive.

Other high-flyers: O.J. Mayo and Bryce Taylor (41 inches), are tied for 7th best ever. Derrick Rose, Deron Washington and Eric Gordon all jumped 40 inches.

-Kentrell Gransberry isn't serious about playing in the NBA

Gransberry's team finished the season all the way back in early March, meaning he had nearly three months to get himself in the best shape of his life before coming to the pre-draft camp. Instead, he posted the third highest body fat percentage in pre-draft camp history, only behind Oliver Miller and Marco Killingsworth. Measuring out at 6-6 ¾ without shoes and without an incredible wingspan or standing reach to compensate doesn't help, even if he can clearly rebound the ball.

Also not in great shape: Chris Daniels, Shaun Pruitt, Kevin Love, Darnell Jackson

-Davon Jefferson is turning into a cautionary tale

We discussed during the pre-draft camp just how incredibly out of shape Davon Jefferson looks, and the combine results did nothing to dissuade that notion, as he came out measuring 12% body fat. A guy that clearly looked like one of the best athletes in the NCAA for most of the season seems intent on doing everything humanly possible to tank his draft stock—lifting the 185 bar just twice, running very poorly in the lane agility and ¾ court sprint, and to add insult to injury, measuring out an inch and a half (6-6 ½ in shoes) shorter than he was listed at USC. He showed almost no competitive fire when things mattered at the pre-draft camp. For a player who was never going to impress anyone with his skill level or intangibles, all this combined is probably going to cause him to go undrafted.

-Richard Hendrix is faster than he looks?

Although he measured out just a hair under 6-7 without shoes, Richard Hendrix posted solid numbers across the board in virtually every category. His 7-3 wingspan and 9-foot standing reach are both very good for a typical NBA power forward, and his lane agility time (10.62) ranked as the 3rd best figure amongst all players in Orlando, and is the 18th best of all time. In case you were wondering, there are multiple people timing the players as they run through the various drills, and the group convenes after each player and compares scores.

-Brook Lopez is a very long human being

Tied for the tallest player measured at the camp (6-11 ¼ without shoes), with a freaky 7-5 ½ wingspan and 9-5 standing reach looks the part and then some of an NBA center. His frame clearly still has room to carry more weight too, meaning it won't be his size, length or strength that holds him back from being a very productive NBA player. What might concern some are his combine numbers, 12.77 in the lane agility drills, which ranks as the 5th worst total in our database according to the limited numbers that are at our disposal. He did slightly better (just 9th worst) in the ¾ court sprint, though, which confirms what we've seen on film—that he runs the floor north to south very well, but is not a very fluid or agile player going east/west.

Other extremely long human beings: John Riek (7-8 ¾), JaVale McGee (7-6), DeAndre Jordan (7-6), Sasha Kaun (7-6), Shawn James (6-9 with a 7-5 wingspan)

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