Chicago, IL – The 2014 NBA Draft Combine got underway this morning with measurements of most of the prospects and workouts by some of the draft hopefuls. While many of the projected first-round prospects withdrew from workouts, there were still some important takeaways from the first day of the combine.
A few guys who likely increased their draft stock today were:
Noah Vonleh – at 6’8” without shoes, Vonleh’s wingspan was measured at 7’4 ¼“. He’s considered to be a power forward or center, but the combination of that length and shooting ability moves him closer to Julius Randle in the draft. At only 18 years of age, he has some of the biggest upside in this draft.
Adreian Payne – At 6’10”, Payne also measured a 7’4” wingspan. He has improved his outside shooting tremendously over the last year and will be a coveted NBA stretch four. It was also reported that he’s been playing with mono for the past three months, which makes his performances even more impressive during that time. The only real knock on his game right now is that he’s 23 years old. With several teams looking to improve immediately, however, he could end up creeping into the lottery.
Zach LaVine – LaVine measured nearly 6’6” with shoes, which dispelled a lot of the undersized two-guard talk. He was one of most athletic prospects at the combine today and also shot very well. He has great size, length, athleticism, and is also one of the youngest prospects. He needs to add bulk and strength, but there’s obviously a lot of upside there.
Some takeaways from the draft prospects that competed in each positional group:
Russ Smith – Smith measured 6’ 0.75.” These workouts are very important for Smith as he’s trying to make his way into the first round. He’s a quick, explosive player who could be a spark off the bench for an NBA team. He changes pace well, is a good scorer and improved his three-point percentage this year. He also upped his assists from his junior season. As a fierce competitor, he could be a great third guard in the right system. He’ll likely be a late first, early second round pick.
DeAndre Kane – He’s a 6’4.5” guard who is ready to contribute immediately. He’s a great scorer and good distributor. At 25 years old, he’s a mature, athletic player who is already close to his ceiling. His age may work against him.
Jahii Carson – Carson is an explosive scorer who can facilitate. He’s one of the smallest prospects at only 5’10” and will need to continue to impress in individual workouts. He displayed good shooting form today, but will need to consistently play with energy and a play-making mindset in order to make it in the NBA. He’s 21 years old and is a probable second round pick.
Aaron Craft – Craft measured 6’ 1.75” at the combine. He is known for his good perimeter defense and constant effort. He is a poor shooter and struggled from the NBA line today. It will be tough for him to score in the NBA, but with his motor and defense, he could be a possible second round pick as a third guard/energy guy.
Jordan Clarkson – He measured an impressive 6’5”. He has a good handle, but needs to improve his shooting. Clarkson is athletic, but could struggle penetrating and defending quicker guards. He has potential, but due to his current deficiencies, he’s likely a mid-second round pick.
Semaj Christon – Christon has all of the physical ability to be an NBA point guard. He’s close to 6’3” and is a good scorer who needs to keep working on his NBA three. He’s extremely fast with the basketball and will likely end up as a late first, early second round pick.
P.J. Hairston – Hairston impressed in the D-League this year. He has a good handle and can hit the NBA three consistently. He has an athletic, NBA body and is a great scorer. He’s an efficient shooter and scorer with great range as well. He has struggled with his decision-making in the past and kind of dogged it in workouts today. He walked through a lot of the drills and didn’t seem fully engaged.
Nick Johnson – Johnson is an athletic 6’3” guard with good body control inside. He could struggle defending long wings, which may hurt his stock. He’s 22 years old and a likely second round pick.
CJ Wilcox – Wilcox has pretty good size at 6’4” and is a great shooter from deep. He displayed good form today and is a good athlete as well. He’s an NBA-ready role player who will likely slip to the second round because of his age (24).
Joe Harris – Harris is a great second round talent. He’s 6’6”, a great shooter and has a high basketball IQ. He’s an efficient three-point shooter and a good defender too. He doesn’t have great lateral quickness, but could be a good three and D guy at the next level.
Roy Devyn Marble – Marble measured 6’ 6.5” today. He is a good shooter who can create his own shot. He didn’t shoot a great % in college, but has good potential from deep. He has a strong upper body and can attack the rim. Marble also has good potential on defense, but needs to continue to put the work in there. He’s a good scorer and decent facilitator who will likely find himself being picked in the second round.
Jordan McRae – McRae measured an impressive 7’ 0.50” wingspan. He’s a great scorer who can get his own shot. He needs to improve his strength and outside shot, but is an impressive inside scorer. He’s a likely second round pick.
Jordan Adams – Adams measured 6’ 4.75” today. He’s another great scorer who can create his own shot. He’s a decent three-point shooter and makes a lot of hustle plays. He has a great feel for the game and there’s definitely potential there.
Cleanthony Early – He measured 6’ 7.25.” Early can score inside and outside and should have an immediate impact as a scorer. He’s an outstanding shooter from everywhere on the court and showed off his good form today. He’s deficiencies are that he’s 23 years old and an average athlete. He’s trying to make his way into the late first round.
K.J. McDaniels – He measured 6’6” today. He’s a great scorer and athlete, as well as a good wing defender. He should make his way into the mid-first round.
Rodney Hood – Hood shot very well at the combine and will likely improve his draft stock some over the next month. He’s a great outside shooter with good height and length. He needs to improve defensively, but he should be able to contribute right away.
Melvin Ejim – Ejim measured 6’7” today. He’s very versatile as he can get inside and make threes. He’s a great rebounder for his size. He’s also mature and tough. He has the potential to be a very good role-player as he tries to make it into the first round.
DeAndre Daniels– He measured at 6’ 8.75” and is a consistent three-point shooter. He showed a decent handle at the combine. He’s athletic, a good scorer and just needs to bulk up.
Patric Young – He’s a solid interior defender, but not a great offensive player. He measured 6’10” and will have to be a strong, hustle guy at the next level. He’s an efficient player down low and could be a potential sleeper pick.
James Michael McAdoo – McAdoo is a hard worker and good scorer down low, but a poor free-throw shooter. He measured 6’ 8.75” and will most likely be a second round pick.
Jarnell Stokes – Stokes measured 6’ 8.5” today. He’s a good, strong post player. He’s an undersized four, but an elite rebounder. He’s athletic and can carve out space in the paint. His numbers from college were analytically pleasing, especially the rebounding numbers. He’s 20 years old and likely a late first round pick.
Cory Jefferson – He’s an athletic, 6’9” mid-range shooter. He is projected as a stretch four and should be a good pick-and-pop player. He’s a solid rebounder and possible second round pick.
Alec Brown – Brown measured 7’ 1.25” and hit a lot of outside shots today at the combine. His shooting was impressive and he’ll need to continue to have good workouts to improve his draft stock.
Isaiah Austin – Austin measured 6’ 11.50” without shoes with a 7’ 4.5” wingspan. He also recorded an impressive 9’ 4.5” standing reach (combine best). He needs to bulk up and improve his outside shooting a bit, but teams will be continuing to watch his workouts.
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