A look at the winners and losers from the: 2018 NBA Draft Combine Measurements.
While the NBA Draft Combine doesn’t get as much coverage as its NFL counterpart, it can be a make or break time for the players taking part in it. While players like Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley sat it out and felt confident that their names will be called early on draft night, other prospects were in Chicago trying to show teams what they have to offer. While skill level is important, each year there are a few prospects that help or hurt their stock based off of the Anthropomorphic portion of the combine. Of the players in attendance, here are the big winners and losers from the combine anthropomorphic testing.
Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas
Nobody had a better showing than Mo Bamba. The big man from Texas not only impressed teams with his measurements, but made history in the process. He was the second tallest player in attendance (while wearing shoes) at 7’0.75” with an insane wingspan of 7’10”. For comparison’s sake, Rudy Gobert’s wingspan when he went through combine testing was 7’8.5”. The next closest wingspan in this year’s class belonged to Udoka Azubuike (7’7”). But for Bamba, it was about more than just setting records. His standing reach of 9’7.5” was best in class, his hands were amongst the biggest at the combine, his body fat percentage was impressive at 6.2%, and he weighed in at just over 225 pounds. Other players had good days, but nobody had a better day than Bamba.
Michael Porter Jr, Missouri
Porter Jr. has nearly identical measurements as his brother Jontay Porter who is considered having adequate size for the center position. While MPJ’s wingspan is nearly 5 inches shorter, his (9′ 0.5”) standing reach is somehow only an inch and a half smaller than a player he emulates in Kevin Durant (9′ 2" standing reach). Porter did very well measuring 6′ 9.5 barefoot, meaning he’s a legit 6′ 11, using the plus 1 inch for shoes and rounding (up) to the closest inch formula. Jontay and Michael have identical 7′ 0.25" wingspans, with Michael being just a half inch smaller in height and standing reach. Michael’s 6.4% body fat also shows that he’s kept himself in very good shape, despite missing nearly the entire season. On the contrary, Jontay’s 13.85% body fat shows that he has a ways to go to be in optimum physical game shape.
PJ Washington, PF, Kentucky
Despite an inconsistent season at UK, Washington had a very strong combine, playing fairly well in the scrimmages and then measuring extremely well. He’s on the short side for PF at 6′ 6.5" barefoot, but his massive 7′ 2.5” gives him phenominal length. With a 8′ 11” standing reach, it would be erroneous to call him undersized at the power forward position. He in fact has excellent size for a four. His 223 lbs makes him a little thin, and means that he will need to concentrate on adding weight, in order to bang with the big boys in the NBA. Is the time right for him to jump to the NBA? Time will tell. But he does appear closer than he was after the season, following a strong combine.
Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV
Measured a surprising 6’11.5 barefoot along with a 7’2” wingspan, which was two inches more than previous measurements and a standing reach of 9’2.5, just an inch less than a guy with a 7’5 wingspan and 7’2 height in Isaac Haas, and good for 5th overall among the group (Bamba, Azubuike, Haas, Wiley). Haas is "bigger" than McCoy but it’s not by much in terms of length, which is very surprising, considering how they were viewed coming into the combine.
Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan
Gimme some Mo! Mister Bamba wasn’t the only Mo that shined in measurements. The German import posting a 9-foot standing reach means he’s got adequate center size and excellent power forward size. At 7 feet, with a 7 foot wingspan, he is no longer seen as a guy with any size concerns. He may be viewed as a tad slow and unathletic, but that length certainly comes in handy on the boards, defensively and getting clean looks from the perimeter, and in the paint as well.
Keita Bates-Diop, SF/PF, Ohio State
Bates Diop posted a staggering plus 8 inch "ape index", wingspan to height ratio. His 7’3.25" wingspan was one of the most surprising among all of this year’s combine participants. His 8’10.5" standing reach gives his legitimate power forward length, when he’s seen as a small forward. Perhaps this means he offers teams an added dimension, ala Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who can defend multiple positions. His 223.8 lbs is solid and a 5.35% body fat shows that he should be able to put weight on and add to his physicality.
Austin Wiley, C, Auburn:
For most players at the combine, they can fall back on the game film from their past season if their measurements don’t live up to expectations. Due to eligibility problems, Wiley didn’t have that luxury, and thus couldn’t afford to not impress NBA executives. Luckily for him, he did. He measured 6’10” in shoes with a 7’5” wingspan. In addition, he had some of the biggest hands of all the players taking part in measurements. Arguably the most surprising thing for him was the fact that he had a body fat percentage of 5%. The fact that he was able to stay in such good shape despite not playing for Auburn last season shows a level of dedication that NBA teams are sure to notice.
Melvin Frazier, SF, Tulane
Some players go to the combine hoping to jump into the lottery, others are hoping to become a first round pick, and others are at the combine fighting just to get drafted anywhere they can land. Frazier is somewhere between the latter two. He is an NBA prospect that needs a team to take a chance on him. The combine was a good first step in achieving that goal. He performed solidly and measured positively as well. Despite being just 6’4.5” barefoot, his wingspan was a massive 7’1.75” and his standing reach of 8′ 9" is also very impressive for a wing.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky
Gilgeous-Alexander confirmed that he stands a full 6’6”, which is made much more impressive by the fact that he projects as a point guard. In addition, his 6’11.5” wingspan was extremely impressive as well. SGA was also notable for one other number, his combine-low 3% body fat. By extension, Gilgeous-Alexander was not the only winner from Kentucky, as their strength and conditioning program shined. At Kentucky’s pro day, SGA’s body fat sat at 6.23% and was down to 3%. Kevin Knox’s percentage went from 7.14% to 4.95%, P.J. Washington went from 9.7% to 6.85%, and Hamidou Diallo’s was lowered from 5.28% to 4.45%.
Udoka Azubuike, C, Kansas
We would be remiss not to mention the KU bigman who posted massive set of length numbers that likely would have been tops in any non-Mo Bamba draft. 6′ 10” barefoot with a 7′ 7” wingspan and a 9′ 4.5” standing reach is length that very few centers at the NBA level can replicate. His 273.8 lbs actually looks very good when you consider his 7.95% body fat. Overall a great set of measurables from the young Nigerian.
Grayson Allen, SG, Duke
As expected, Allen measured small for a 2 guard at 6′ 3" barefoot and with a 8′ 1" standing reach, however his wingspan was solid at 6′ 7.25". The rule of thumb generally is that guards are out in space, playing passing lanes etc. and do most of their damage on the perimeter making their wingspan more important than standing reach, while bigs due to rebounding and shot blocking are the opposite with standing reach holding more weight than wingspan, relatively speaking. There are usually a few small errors with the tabulation of prospects measurements and it’s possible that Grayson’s standing reach is actually an inch or so bigger, (for instance Rawle Alkins previously measured a 8’5.5" standing reach on two occasions, yet was 8’3 in this measurement) but regardless it’s safe to call him undersized for the shooting guard position.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, SG, Kansas
Mykhailiuk’s issues are exactly what we expected, however, that doesn’t change the fact that the combine is not the place for him to show out, at least not when it comes to having measurements done. He stands 6’6.5” barefoot, but his wingspan is a paltry 6’4.75”. Is having short arms a death sentence in the NBA? No. However, he was the only player to go through measurements and have his wingspan be less than his height. That’s a lonely camp to be in, and he’ll have to show that he can succeed in a guard or wing role against NBA level players and their superior length to stick in the league.
Malik Newman, SG, Kansas
Newman’s measurements were pretty much as expected as Newman is small for a 2 and has decent but not great length with a +3 wingspan. He clearly outperformed Grayson Allen, in Kansas’ upset win over Duke in the NCAA tournament, and his measurables are really not much different with a bigger standing reach and an inch and 3/4 smaller wingspan, and arguably should be taken in the same range if not higher. But that doesn’t keep him from appearing on this list.
Allonzo Trier, SG, Arizona
Trier’s measurements were somewhat disappointing, however he was another player whose data did not match up with previous data that had been logged. His 6′ 3.75" barefoot height is decent, making him 6′ 5" in shoes, his 6′ 6.75" wingspan is a bit below average and his 8′ 2" standing reach is really disappointing, but on the bright side that number is likely 2" inches off, (he previously measured with an 8′ 4" standing reach on two seperate occasions) so teams that have him in are likely to be pleasantly surprised that he’s in fact bigger than at this year’s combine.