FreeDrafto, Pt. 894582: Leaping Time
Let me just get straight to the point: I'm a big NBA Draft fan. If it were the Pistons taking on the Spurs, rather than the Cavs, I would even say that I'm more into the Draft than the Finals, but like everyone, I'm quite curious about how King James will fare, so, uh, I can't actually that. But, whatever, fuck it, the point is that love the NBA Draft! One of my favorite parts of Draft season is the pre-Draft Camp measurements and the combine. With the premium the NBA puts on length and athleticism, we get to wax poetic on wingspan and lucubrate on lane agility. Having a good combine is not nearly as important as it is in the NFL, but it can really boost one's stock. Before anyone gets all Oberlin on me, let me say that I realize that certain aspects of the NBA Draft are creepily similar to a slave auction, but if you think about it, it's not really the same thing at all. With that said, I've put together some notes for your enjoyment and edification. Feel free to leave yours in the comments, as always.
Corey Brewer - Brewer is the personification of "wiry." He only goes 6'6.75" (in shoes) and 185, but he benched 185 eleven times. If I were drafting in the Top 5, I'd think about taking him.
Aaron Brooks - I've often said that it's impossible (for me, anyway) to predict if scoring 6-ft combo guards or 6'7" power forwards can translate collegiate success to the NBA. Brooks is a prime example of the former. He was measured at only 5'11.75" in shoes, but the rest of it looks pretty impressive: 6'4" wingspan, 39.5 inch max vertical, and 10.57 lane agility. I would guess he's going to get drafted off of that.
Mike Conley, Jr. - This cat really impressed me during the tourney. As much as his solid pure point guard play, I was struck by--and I of course say this as a lifelong heterosexual--his physique. Dude has broad shoulders and long arms and looks like he'll be able to pack some serious muscle onto that frame. Not that he's not already kinda diesel for a 19 year old point guard. He benched 185 thirteen times; that's one more than strongman Mario Boggan. He also measured out at almost 6'1" in shoes and had a 40.5 inch max vert. He was already going lotto, but now I wouldn't be surprised if he went Top 5.
Zabian Dowdell - This guy is one of my sleepers. He hung 33 on my Tar Heels this past season, and his name sounds like that of an antebellum southern gentleman. He's another scoring combo guard, but he's got decent size, going 6'3" in shoes and with a ridiculous 6'10" wingspan.
Kevin Durant - He's a legit 6'10 in shoes. I heard Mike Greenberg say he would take Oden over Durant because he's a legit 7-footer, and Durant is only 6'6". Right about the first part, dead wrong on the second.
Al Horford - For some reason, I've never really been sure how big Horford is. He's so broad, he appears shorter than he really is. He measured at almost 6'10" in shoes, benched 185 twenty times, and had a 35.5 inch max vert. Very solid numbers. He's a starting NBA power forward, no question. Whether he's an All-Star caliber player, I can't say.
Jared Jordan - Further proof that white point guards are the only basketball players whose wingspans are not greater than their heights.
Josh McRoberts - I heard a rumor that he can't lift weights because he has a bad back. Still, if you're a 6'10" professional basketball player, you should NOT have 13.7% body fat. That's more than beefy Mario Boggan (9.2%) and Joseph Jones (11.9%) and more than FIVE times more than Aaron Brooks (a freakish 2.7%).
Nick Young - He measured out at 6'6.75" in shoes with a 7-ft wingspan and a 40.5 max vert (only an inch more than his no step vert). With his smooth game and those sick ups, he should be a lottery pick.
Thaddeus Young - He's only 6'5.75 without shoes, but he had an impressive 37 inch max vert and put 185 up 13 times, making him the 7th best athlete in the camp. Still, his perimeter skills aren't yet where they should be. If I were him, I'd go back to Georgia Tech for another year.