A look at the winners and losers from the: 2017 NBA Draft Combine Athleticism Testing Results.
Hamidou Diallo, Kentucky
One of the bigger unknowns in this draft was one of the biggest standouts at the combine. Diallo, a University of Kentucky basketball recruit who has not yet played a game. He is apparently following the lead of Thon Maker having graduated early, making himself eligible for the NBA draft. He played half a year of prep school ball before enrolling at mid-season at UK and spending the latter half of the college basketball season sitting out for the Wildcats. So he comes into this draft with a lot to prove, and he did just that with a 44.5 inch max vertical leap, 2.5 inches better than the next-closest competitor. As a subpar shooter, Diallo needed to prove he was truly an elite athlete to be drafted as an NBA wing, and he clearly did that with his vert, as well as his shuttle run and three quarter sprint, which were both top 3 at the combine. He still has to make up his mind whether to pull out and improve his game (in particular shooting) at Kentucky next season, or stay in the draft where he will likely be taken in the 20s on upside.
Donovan Mitchell, Louisville
As a 6’2” shooting guard, (6-10 wingspan) Mitchell is a guy who needs to be able to play faster and more explosive than his taller competition, and his athleticism test numbers proved he can do so. His three quarter sprint was the fastest. His standing vert was the highest. And his max vert of 40.5 inches was one of only 7 to break the 40 inch mark. These numbers should be enough to cement Mitchell in the first round and give him a chance to rise up draft boards.
Bam Adebayo, Kentucky
Out of all the big men at the combine, Adebayo probably turned in the most perspective-altering performance. He leapt like a guard, turning in a 38.5 inch max vert, and also placing among the overall top 10 at the combine in the standing vert. As a guy who already projects to primarily be a rim protector and an offensive rebounder and lob finisher, Adebayo did an excellent job of making his case as a guy who can beat his fellow big men to the ball on the offensive glass and can guard NBA centers.
Frank Jackson, Duke
Jackson’s decision to pursue the NBA has been criticized by some, as he was overshadowed by several of his Duke teammates in his freshman season. But he came to the combine and posted some of the best numbers across the board of anyone. He had the fastest shuttle run at 2.7 seconds, comfortably ahead of the rest of the pack, and his max vert of 42 inches was second only to Diallo. He also finished in the top 5 of the standing vert and three quarter sprint. Coupled with a great jump shot and scoring ability, Jackson, at age 19, definitely looks like a potential first round prospect after posting the numbers he did.
Semi Ojeleye, Southern Methodist
As someone who was more of a faceup power forward in college, Ojeleye needed solid athleticism numbers to help show he can transition to the wing position at the NBA level, so when his vert numbers both ended up in the top 5 overall, it was a solid boost for his stock. His lane agility time was third overall, and his three quarter court sprint was also top 10. He may still have his work cut out for him to be anything more than a second round selection, but these combine numbers were a good start.
Cameron Oliver, Nevada
An undersized power forward from a Mountain West Conference school, Oliver relies on his athleticism to take less mobile power forwards off the dribble and finish at the rim, so his promising combine numbers will benefit him greatly. Primarily, he had an awesome max vert at 39.5 inches, which when combined with tremendous length, gives him a lot of raw physical talent. He actually has some touch and range on his shot, what he’s still missing is the focus and consistency to put it all together.
John Collins, Wake Forest
Though not quite on the level of Adebayo and Oliver, Collins posted some of the best leaping marks of any big man at the combine, which should help boost his case as a potential lottery selection. 37.5 max vertical is very good for a big and confirms what he showed all season with his explosive assaults of the rim.
Derrick White, Colorado
A more under the radar prospect, White posted excellent times in all the speed and quickness drills, and at 6’4, could be an ideal point guard prospect from a physical standpoint. He finished top 10 in Lane Agility, Shuttle Run and Three Quarter Court Sprint (2nd) and had a solid top 20 max vertical at 36.5.
Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga
Known more as a great point guard than a great athlete, Williams-Goss nonetheless came out and posted the best lane agility time in the entire combine at 10.42 seconds. Especially surprising due to the fact that Williams-Goss is generally thought to be slow in comparison to most college point guard prospects.
Justin Patton, Creighton
As a skilled, 19-year-old 7-footer, Patton should be a hot commodity in the draft. But he truly underperformed at the combine, posting a 30.5 max vert leap, second-worst overall, along with a bottom five three quarter sprint and shuttle run. His rebounding rate in college was very low for a guy his size, and this is explained in part by his poor leaping ability. Still, he’s a potential lottery selection, but that status could be in jeopardy with these results.
Ivan Rabb, California
Rabb decided to enter the draft after two seasons at Cal and now projects as a mid-to-late first round selection. Unfortunately for him, he posted an underwhelming 32.5 max vert and a downright bad lane agility time, fourth-worst time at the combine. While he;s sure to impress in interviews and shows some solid face up ability, his lack of run/jump athleticism could knock him a little ways down in the first round.
Ike Anigbogu, UCLA
Despite receiving limited action as a freshman, the 18-year-old Anigbogu decided to enter the draft and hire an agent. At the combine, he didn’t fare so well, posting bottom 6 times in each of the speed and agility drills. As a guy who is also very raw in his skillset, he could certainly be in trouble. He’s still a big, strong and very bouncy young big, but his lack of agility is a bit concerning.
Omer Yurtseven, NC State
Fortunately for the Turkish freshman center, Yurtseven is very reliant on his skillset and versatility, as he’s a 7-footer with a good shooting stroke, because his athleticism numbers were lacking. He landed in the bottom 8 in all 5 athleticism drills, the only player to do so. He looked fluid and showed a nice ability to finish on the break in games, which helps his cause.
Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina
Though his numbers weren’t necessarily bad overall, Thornwell was one of the more underperforming guards or small forwards of the bunch. This was highlighted by his 30.5 inch max vert, the second-worst overall mark at the combine. All across the board, Thornwell was closer to the low end of the wing players in this group. Thornwell also struggled in the games, so it wasn’t a positive combine week for the senior leader.
Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State
Similar to Thornwell, Evans’ numbers weren’t glaringly bad, but for a point guard, they were certainly underwhelming. His max vert was 33.5 inches, and his shuttle run was the slowest of all the point guards. Evans showed a skillset beyond his years as a sophomore, but this athletic performance is a setback at a position perhaps reliant on speed and explosiveness.