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2014 NBA Draft Combine: Athleticism Test Analysis

Sat, 05/17/2014 - 6:44pm

NBA Draft Combine: Athleticism Test Results

Winners:


Zach LaVine 33.5” no-step vert, 41.5” max vert, 10.42 lane agility, 3.19 sprint

Zach LaVineZach LaVineHe showed flashes of rare athleticism during his freshman season and he did everything to back that up with his combine numbers. LaVine excelled at everything in the run and jump aspects of testing. Testing with the point guards, he came close to blowing them all out of the water, picking up the top lane agility at this years combine by over 1/3 of a second. Measuring out at around 6’6”, he still will need time to develop physically, though he flashed major upside with the numbers he had in Chicago.

Dante Exum 31.5” no-step vert, 34.5” max vert, 10.75 lane agility, 3.19 sprint

Exum has been the media gem of the combine; everyone wanted to know about the “Australian man of mystery”. Not necessarily known as a high riser, his vertical measurements were fairly average. However, his speed for his size is special and that came through in his sprint time. He moves exceptionally well and is a dangerous penetrator, with his lane agility and sprint times backing that up at the NBA level. Testing with the SG’s, Exum’s speed at his size did nothing to hurt his stock and was considered by some as the top guard prospect at the combine.

Markel Brown 36.5” no-step vert, 43.5” max vert, 3.18 sprint

Highlight dunks from Markel Brown’s Oklahoma State career were epic and he showed incredible leaping ability in both vertical measurements. His max vert tied for the lead with Jahii Carson, while also tying in the standing vert and coming in the top 5 in ¾ court sprint. His 12.62 lane agility was the only puzzling number, though this may have been more of a lack of knowledge of the drill as opposed to huge issues surrounding lateral quickness. Even so, Markel showed he has springs and speed that measure amongst the tops in these tests.

Cleanthony Early 34” no-step vert, 40” max vert, 11.15 lane agility, 3.18 sprint

If there was a possible complaint surrounding Early, it was whether he had the athleticism to play the 3 spot. He measured out at a little smaller than one would think, which would make his athletic testing that much more important. Safe to say Early knocked it out of the park with his results in the athletic testing. Hitting the elusive 40” mark in max vert and coming in 2nd on the standing vert, he also had great times in agility and sprint tests. Have to think that Early really helped establish himself a wing player at the NBA level with these results, going a long way to dropping the dreaded “tweener” label.

Marcus Smart 33” no-step vert, 36” max vert, 10.82 lane agility, 3.26 sprint

Strength and toughness are Marcus Smart’s calling card, though some were curious whether his athleticism was up to par for a NBA PG. 33” standing vert is darn impressive amongst any position and his lane agility being sub-11 was a definite win. The length he was measured as having the day previous along with his lateral quickness, not to mention desire, must have helped the belief of Smart defending PG’s at the next level. Smart’s potential versatility as a defender at the guard position now has numbers to back it up.

Aaron Gordon 32.5” no-step vert, 39.5” max vert, 10.81 lane agility, 3.27 sprint

The combine was Gordon’s chance to shine and he showed the explosive ability that makes him such a threat around the rim. His near 40” vertical is huge for a PF prospect and the 10.81 lane agility drill only backs up the fantastic defensive work he put in during his lone season at Arizona. His sprint was not elite, though his conditioning and stamina both stand out over a full game situation. His offensive game is still a definite work in progress, though his numbers probably have teams loving the potential defensive versatility he could bring to the table.

Nick Johnson 33.5” no-step vert, 41.5” max vert, 10.80 lane agility, 3.27 sprint

After posting a reported 47” vertical over the summer, Johnson was a bit disappointed at “only” jumping 41.5”. Hard to say that he really disappointed with his athletic testing, he is darn explosive, quick laterally and his attitude makes him a good pro prospect. He does not necessarily have a defined position, lacking ideal size for a 2 guard, but he can sky and is solid moving side to side. Johnson certainly showed the high level athleticism to run and jump with just about anybody.

Jordan Clarkson 33” no-step vert, 38.5” max vert, 10.76 lane agility, 3.28 sprint

It was a tough season for Missouri and Clarkson did not necessarily have the smoothest transition to the PG spot. The combine at least showed the athletic ability that had him holding his own amongst the PG’s tested in Chicago. He posted the 3rd fastest lane agility, had a nice standing vert as well as a solid max vert as well. While his actual position may be up in the air as a full time distributor, his athleticism is impressive for either guard spot.

Glenn Robinson III 36.5” no-step vert, 41.5” max vert, 11.22 lane agility, 3.15 sprint

Questions surrounding GR3 were due more to his inconsistent performance as opposed to his athletic tools. His combine results showed why the expectations were so high for the “son of Big Dog”, he is explosive off of the floor and his ability to run the floor is at guard level. His ball skills are still a major work in progress, as is his long range shooting. What his numbers show is that he has athleticism on par with high level wing players and potential to eventually be a factor there if he can put it all together.

Doug McDermott 36.5” max vert, 11.10 lane agility, 3.29 sprint

One has to give “Dougie McBuckets” props for putting up a max vert that was well above what people expected. Not only did he show solid athleticism for a 3, tying with TJ Warren for the fastest lane agility among the SF group. McDermott was a player whose expectations versus reality put him in the “winners” bracket. Amazingly, his 36.5 max vert was just .5 inch lower than "freak athlete" KJ McDanels. His scores in the testing show that he is at least not a slouch athletically and should help promote the idea of his being a solid rotation player with a ready made role.

Patric Young 32” no-step vert, 37” max vert, 11.18 lane agility, 25 bench reps

With Young likely being seen as a center prospect, his height measured well though his standing reach left a bit to be desired. Luckily, the hardcore football workouts he has done during the past few off-seasons helped him put up some big combine numbers. His speed is not exceptional, though the lane agility score was quite solid even for a wing player in this draft. According to multiple reports, Young bench-pressed 185-pounds 25 times, which is two short of the combine record. The combine definitely helped put Young’s name among possible big men called on June 26th.

Losers:

Jordan Adams 24.5” no-step vert, 29.5” max vert, 12.13 lane agility, 3.50 sprint

Even though he was known much more for his skill set and instincts opposed to athleticism, his numbers were surprisingly low. Now we know the likely reason behind his having 0 dunks in 2081 minutes of college play. His lack of explosive ability off the bounce was not the only thing that stood out, as his ¾ sprint was well below average for a SG as well. He was always good at playing the passing lanes and a smart player whose analytics were really strong. Still, the numbers posted here have to bring up some concerns about translating to the next level.

LaQuinton Ross 25” no-step vert, 31” max vert, 11.97 lane agility, 3.44 sprint

Ross measured around PF size the day before, though his body fat of 16.3% was the highest amongst anyone at the combine in 2014. He was not known as an athlete going in and his scores make it really difficult to see him being efficient defending the perimeter. It also was going around the combine that he was not necessarily in great shape in the 6 weeks he used to “train” since he left Ohio State. Athletic testing really did him no favors, especially participating in the SF group.

Jabari Brown 28” no-step vert, 32” max vert, 11.60 lane agility, 3.50 sprint

Brown had a breakout season as a scorer and shooter for Missouri, even though the team might not have lived up to expectations. Brown’s athleticism was seen by many as being a strong reason for this, though it did not measure up to be special by NBA standards. Watching his sprint, he just did not appear to have elite speed, which measured in the result. He brings a strong skill set offensively and shot really well as a junior, though the athleticism shown here probably did not help his draft stock.

Russ Smith 29.5” no-step vert, 34” max vert, 11.57 lane agility, 3.27 sprint

One of the more explosive and fun players to watch at the college level, Russ’ in game athleticism seems to vastly trump his combine numbers. Nonetheless, measuring at a tiny 160-pounds, one might hope for Smith to show more explosion and faster straight line speed. His scoring ability is evident and he was very hard to stay in front of in college. These numbers just add to the questions of where he will play and whether he can translate to the NBA as a scoring PG off of the bench.

DeAndre Daniels 26.5” no-step vert, 32” max vert, 11.46 lane agility, 3.44 sprint

Daniels played a crucial role in Connecticut’s championship run; boosting his stock enough to garner possible first round consideration. The measurements were in his favor, even though he still needs to definitely add some weight coming in at under 200 lbs. His athletic tests leave a lot to be desired as a wing, which could bring doubt to where he plays at the NBA level. His game seemed to translate to the wing, with a nice shooting stroke and some ball skills that made him a match-up problem. The question will be whether he has the athleticism to translate their, as they seem to put him further in “tweener” territory.

Top 5 No-Step Vert

1. Glenn Robinson III, Markel Brown: 36.5”
2. Cleanthony Early: 34”
3. Zach LaVine, Jahii Carson, Nick Johnson: 33.5”
4. Marcus Smart, KJ McDaniels, Cory Jefferson, Jordan Clarkson: 33”
5. Aaron Gordon: 32.5”

Top Max Vert

1. Markel Brown, Jahii Carson: 43.5”
2. Zach LaVine, Glenn Robinson III, Nick Johnson: 41.5”
3. Cleanthony Early: 40”
4. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Deonte Burton: 39.5”
5. Aaron Gordon: 39”

Top 3 Positional Lane Agility

PG Zach LaVine 10.42, Jordan Clarkson 10.76, Aaron Craft 10.78
SG Dante Exum 10.75, Nik Stauskas 10.79, Nick Johnson 10.80
SF Doug McDermott 11.10, TJ Warren 11.10, Cleanthony Early 11.15
PF Aaron Gordon 10.81, Dwight Powell 11.28, Cameron Bairstow 11.39
C Isaiah Austin 11.00, Patric Young 11.18, Alex Kirk 11.20

Top 3 Positional ¾ Sprint

PG Deandre Kane 3.16, Zach LaVine 3.19, Shabazz Napier 3.2
SG Markel Brown 3.18, Dante Exum 3.19, CJ Wilcox 3.22
SF KJ McDaniels 3.1, Melvin Ejim 3.14, Glenn Robinson III 3.15
PF Dwight Powell 3.2, Khem Birch 3.26, Jarnell Stokes 3.26
C Jordan Bachynski 3.36, Patric Young 3.43, Johnny OBryant 3.45

Follow Michael on twitter @NBADraftMikeyV or feel free to send him an e-mail at [email protected]

Moon River
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LaVine

Zach just made himself a lot of money. Good for Dougie McBuckets too. That was a surprise.

bluesox
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Zach LaVine

Zach LaVine could be the still of the draft if he ends up backing up a good pg whom he could learn from.( Like Nash)

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