By Ron Jumper
So the combine came and went in Chicago, not a whole lot of earthshaking information came out of it but there are always a few surprises along the way. One can argue if any of the measurements really matter much at all and, with no 5-on-5 at the event anymore, some question the relevance of the combine altogether. I tend to think the interviews and the physical are very important.
Some scouts and general managers are concerned with Blake Griffin’s lack of a long wingspan. I say it is silly to worry about Griffin’s wingspan and his potential to be a great shotblocker down the road. Remember, just two years ago, Kevin Durant was one of the worst athletes in the history of the combine. He was slow, couldn’t bench press much, and so on. Now, he is the franchise player for the Oklahoma City Thunder and a likely face of the league here in just another couple of years. Griffin is still the same dominant guy he has always been. Don’t overthink this thing if you are the Clippers and look back ten years from now and wonder how you ended up with Ricky Rubio instead.
Hasheem Thabeet measured as expected at 7’2.5’ and a wingspan of 7’6.25” so no surprises there. The measurement that just blows my mind is that Thabeet has a standing reach, meaning when he puts his hands straight up, of 9’5”… Nine feet, five inches! That means he can dunk on his tippy toes! Life isn’t fair sometimes.
On the flip side, some other Big East players measured out much shorter than expected. Jeff Adrien, DeJuan Blair, and Sam Young all measured in at just 6’5.25’ without shoes. Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody, who has been solid in workouts, measured in at just 6’6.25’ without shoes. The difference with Blair from the others is that Blair possesses a 7’2” wingspan to make up the difference in height.
A player who I think will catch the scouts attention and move up the boards is Gonzaga’s Austin Daye, as he measured in at 6’10.75” with shoes and a 7’2.75” wingspan. His upside is tremendous, as he possesses a great skill set and word has it he hasn’t been as “soft” in workouts as some scouts thought he would be. The problem is his rail thin 192-pound frame but, if a team is patient, I think the investment would be well worth the wait.
Another guy I have raved about since Georgetown made the Final Four three years ago is DaJuan Summers. In my mind, I don’t think he is a lot different from Jeff Green. Summers measured in at 6’8.5” with shoes and weighed in at 243 pounds. With his skill set (that wasn’t always on display in the Hoyas’ Princeton offense), I see a great prospect that is currently flying under the radar. Truthfully, I feel comfortable putting him ahead of guys like Terrence Williams, Chase Budinger, and James Johnson right now and by draft time, who knows…
For full coverage and a full list of measurements, check out DraftExpress’ coverage here.