I love the draft combine. I know that it tells us practically nothing about a player’s future compared to other measurements, but it’s still fun to look at the results. Over the past week or two, we’ve taken a look at some of the players the Nets might draft on June 23rd. Here’s how some of them fared:
Justin Harper of Richmond tested well in some areas and poor in others. The good: Harper tied probable 2nd pick Derrick Williams for the most bench press reps (at 185 lbs) with 19 and scored the lowest body fat percentage at the combine with a slim 4%. The bad: Harper finished fifth-worst in the agility drill among all combine participants and needs to add at least 20 pounds to his frame.
Tyler Honeycutt of UCLA did not impress many folks with his athletic testing. Honeycutt put up 0 – yes, 0 – bench press reps, despite not having a particularly long wingspan. He had trouble lifting 185 pounds because that’s essentially his body weight – despite measuring over 6’8″ in shoes, Honeycutt weighs a mere 187 pounds. He’s a talented player, and he proved that much in college, but he will need to add to his frame to be an impact player in the always-physical NBA.
Josh Selby of Kansas made a lot of waves with a surprising (and ridiculous) 42″ vertical leap. He’s only 6’3″ in shoes, but his hands hit 11’8″ on the max vert – a full four inches higher than the taller, athletic, lottery-bound Brandon Knight.
Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside noted that Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert was excellent in the athletic testing and may have bumped his draft stock up considerably. As someone who watched dozens of Georgia Tech games last year studying Derrick Favors, I must say: unless he’s undergone a radical transformation as a player in the last year – and he may very well have – he’s not worth drafting no matter what his vertical leap was.
Shooting guard and potential second-round choice Malcolm Lee of UCLA had a pretty good combine. Lee is a legit 6’5″ in shoes with an enormous wingspan for a guard – longer than fellow UCLA teammate and potential first-round pick Tyler Honeycutt, who is three inches taller. Lee also hit a max vertical leap of nearly 36 inches, which is decent for a 2-guard in the second round.
I have to make one final note here about Oakland senior and freak athlete Keith Benson. Benson’s projected as a mid-second round pick, but the guy is 6’11”, has a 36″ vertical leap, and a near 7’4″ wingspan. Athletically, he compares favorably to draft-day Dwight Howard. Granted, Howard was just graduating high school, but any time a guy favorably compares to Dwight, he’s worth looking at. Benson excelled as a scorer, rebounder, and shotblocker, but did so against mid-major competition as a senior. Still, with the 36th pick, he’s not a bad risk.