2009 NBA Draft Combine: Analysis

Tue, 06/02/2009 - 2:12pm

2009 NBA Draft Combine: Athleticism Test Results

2009 NBA Draft Combine: Player Measurements

It’s that time of year again. The 2009 Combine results are in, and while we are all aware that poor numbers in the bench press don’t mean a player will fail at the next level (hello, Kevin Durant), it’s still fun to sift through these numbers and see which players are better/worse athletes than we thought.

Top of the Draft


James Harden

You’ve got to respect Blake Griffin, James Harden, and Jordan Hill for participating while fellow lottery picks Ricky Rubio, Hasheem Thabeet, and Brandon Jennings did not. It’s disappointing that we don’t get a chance to see how this year’s best all stack up against each other, but we can analyze what we have.

People make a big deal about the fact that Griffin measured at 6’10” in shoes, but the things that will make Blake a nightmare at the next level are his speed and agility. His 10.95 in the lane agility test and 3.28 in the ¾ court sprint were right there with the likes of Jonny Flynn, a player considered to be one of the most athletic point guards in college basketball this past year. He also recorded 22 reps on the bench press, good for 2nd best at the combine. Not like it matters; Griffin could have put up Austin Daye – numbers and would still go #1.

No projected lottery player was more surprising at the combine than James Harden. Many scouting reports on Harden say that he’s not athletic, but his results say otherwise. First, he recorded a 37” vertical and reached the same maximum height (11’8.5”) as Blake Griffin. Second, he ran a 3.13 sprint, which was only one hundredth behind speedster Ty Lawson, and repped 17 on the bench press. It’s been reported that the Thunder are considering him at #3. With no more reservations about his athleticism, is this enough for Harden to leapfrog Rubio?

Hill was up and down at the combine. On one hand, his standing reach (9’0”), body fat (6%), and maximum height (11’11”) were impressive. His 3.3 sprint was actually faster than several wing players as well. On the other, he recorded the worst agility score at the combine and only repped 11 on the bench. With the way the game has evolved, most NBA PFs are stronger and more agile than Hill, so he has some work to do physically.

Point Guards

Don’t be fooled by that baby face; just because Stephen Curry looks like a 12-year-old, it doesn’t mean he has the body of one. Surprisingly, he reached ten reps in the bench (honestly, who thought he’d get past 3?) and had the same vertical as Mr. Griffin. While his speed and agility weren’t on par with other PGs, his IQ will help to make up for it at the next level.

Jeff Teague only has 4.5% body fat and repped 13 on the bench, both impressive numbers for the underclassmen. He also recorded a 36.5” vertical leap.

Two surprises with Ty Lawson: his vertical (36.5”) and the fact that five guys posted faster times in the sprint. Just the opposite, there were no surprises with Eric Maynor or Jonny Flynn. Flynn’s 40-inch vertical was best at the combine.

Toney Douglas was the fastest player at the combine (3.03 on the sprint) while Jack McClinton was most agile.


Considering what a physical specimen Gerald Henderson looks like, his 8 reps on the bench and 11.17 agility time can only be deemed disappointing. His 4.4% body fat (best in the combine) is impressive, though.

Demar Derozan is an elite jumper, not an elite athlete. His max vertical of 38.5” was good for 3rd best at the combine, but his bench press (5 reps), agility (11.88 – terrible for a wing), and sprint (3.31) left much to be desired.

Earl Clark’s measurements (6’10.25,” standing reach 9’1.25”) were excellent, but five reps on the bench press are weak.

One of the most impressive players at the combine was Xavier’s Derrick Brown. Brown was considered a potential lottery pick earlier this year, but his stock plummeted. While his 3.13 in the sprint, 20 reps on the bench, and maximum height of 11’11” won’t catapult him back into the lottery, those numbers are impressive enough to make some teams think.

Wayne Ellington was always known for his fluid game, but his measurements should eliminate any concerns about his size and athleticism. He is over 6’5” in shoes, has a vertical leap of 38 inches, and pumped 185 lbs 13 times.

Austin Daye and Greivis Vasquez had the worst performances of the combine by far. Neither player exhibited the speed, strength, or jumping ability necessary to make an impact at the next level.


Dejuan Blair had only 12% body fat, which was the same as Wake’s James Johnson. Looking at them, you’d never guess they’d have equal body fat. Blair’s 18 bench reps and decent agility numbers coupled with his incredible wingspan make him an intriguing prospect.

A big man that helped himself a lot is Luke Harangody. He turned out to be the strongest player at the combine (23 reps) while posting solid numbers in the sprint and agility tests.

2009 NBA Draft Combine: Athleticism Test Results
2009 NBA Draft Combine: Player Measurements