Players who improved their draft stock the most at 2019 NBA combine

Players who improved their draft stock the most at 2019 NBA combine

DunkWire

Players who improved their draft stock the most at 2019 NBA combine

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The latest 2019 NBA mock drafts have been released after the G League Elite Camp and NBA combine concluded, yielding fascinating results.

Based on the latest intel from around the league and several experts and analysts, we have created a list of players who have most improved their draft stock from participating in the annual events in Chicago.

Much like Kyle Kuzma did in 2017 and Donte DiVincenzo did last season, these are the players whose recent performances in front of NBA scouts and executives have done the most to help their draft stock.

We have sorted the categories into undrafted free agents who will likely earn two-way contracts as well as potential second-rounders and included some potential first-rounders, too.

Potential first-rounders

Terence Davis, Ole Miss (Guard) 

Pre-Combine AMD Rank: Not Ranked

Best Current Rank: 29 (Ricky Scricca’s Big Board for The Stepien)

We asked Davis to describe the role he would envision himself playing for an NBA team (via HoopsHype):

“I feel like I am a very, very good player in transition off the rebound and pushing it. I run lanes very well. I just like running. Transition is really about outrunning your man and getting to the other end as fast as you can. As a wide receiver, that’s something I always liked to do. But I can score in many other ways on the offensive end. I’m a midrange shooter. I’m a good spot-up shooter and I can shot on the move. I can get to the cut, man, I’m a slasher. I feel like I can do a variety of things and these are things I tell teams during interviews. Whatever role they need me, I am willing to do it. Because I can do whatever is needed for them until they feel I am ready to expand on it. Honestly, I just want to put the ball in the basket. When I was little, that’s how I tried to be and it’s the same now.”

After a strong showing at the G League Elite Camp and the NBA combine, Davis is now working out for teams selecting between No. 24 and No. 40 in the upcoming draft.

It only takes one team to fall in love with him as a prospect and given the ways he has impressed thus far, there may be no bigger riser in the process thus far.

Daquan Jeffries, Tulsa (Wing)

Pre-Combine AMD Rank: 61

Best Current Rank: 29 (Kevin O’Connor’s Big Board for The Ringer)

Former Tulsa wing Daquan Jeffries has been a pre-draft darling for several experts and analysts after dominating other NCAA seniors at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. He averaged 20.0 points and 9.4 rebounds per 36 minutes at the PIT, shooting 7-for-17 (41.2 percent) from 3-point range.

During the G League Elite Camp, he was once again one of the best players on the floor. Then, during the NBA Combine, he was a perfect four-for-four on two-point field goal attempts.

Jeffries won the College Basketball Slam Dunk Contest in 2019 and with a 7-foot wingspan, he can play a bit bigger than his 6-foot-5 frame. While a first-round evaluation is unlikely, it is not entirely out of the question.

Jalen Lecque, NC State commit (Guard)

Pre-Combine AMD Rank: 57

Best Current Rank: 41 (Sports Illustrated Mock Draft)

Kyle Boone helped contextualize the obvious upside of the NC State commit (via CBS Sports):

“[His] athleticism was backed not only by the eyes but also the numbers. He posted a 43-inch max vertical leap, not only tops at the combine among those who tested, but also the best since Hamidou Diallo leapt 44.5 inches in 2017. His 35-inch standing vertical leap was second among all players as well, and first among point guards … He’s a really intriguing long-term prospect who some teams may find really appealing as a developmental asset. The talent is there, the size (6-4, 185) is mostly there and if a point guard deficient team – or a team saddled with an aging point guard – decides it wants to try and invest in a future player at the position, Lecque could be the answer.”

It would have been very helpful to have seen him play in his second scrimmage game at the combine. He was 2-for-4 (50.0 percent) from the field with 4 rebounds and 4 assists but also 5 turnovers

Nic Claxton, Georgia (Forward) 

Pre-Combine AMD Rank: 36

Best Current Rank: 25 (CBS Sports Big Board)

Perhaps no one in the 2019 NBA Draft early entry list had a more fascinating decision on his amateur status than Georgia big man Nic Claxton. While he may have played his way into the first round, there is no such thing as a sure thing until draft night.

If he returned to school, however, he could have been paired with backcourt sensation and likely Top 3 pick Anthony Edwards under head coach Tom Crean.

With an average of 2.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game, his defensive presence was certainly felt for the Bulldogs. He bragged the fifth-best defensive box plus-minus in the SEC, leading his team with the best defensive rating and the most defensive win shares.

But on the offensive side of the glass, he showed an ability to stretch the floor as a spot-up shooter. Claxton scored almost 20 percent of his points on jump shots, per Synergy Sports Tech. According to The Stepien, the forward also connected on 34.0 percent of his three-pointers from NBA distance.

Luka Samanic, Croatia (Forward)

Pre-Combine AMD Rank: 37

Best Current Rank: 26 (Bleacher Report Big Board)

After discussing his pre-draft plans with us, it was no surprise that Samanic wanted to participate in the five-on-five scrimmages (via HoopsHype):

“I’m super competitive, I hate to lose. As a player and in normal life, maybe a little bit too much. I like to win … If you want to play at the top level, you have to be as good or great at as many things as possible. I want to guard the best player on the team, it’s my mission before the game. I think I can switch onto any player on the court. I am pretty fast with good lateral movement. I’m not like most 6-foot-11 guys. I can move pretty good.”

Samanic was 5-for-7 from the field with 7 rebounds during his combine scrimmage and looked much tougher and more physically intense than many otherwise expected.

As the first round comes to a close, it has become increasingly likely that he hears his name.

Honorable Mentions

Devon Dotson, Kansas (Guard)

Zach Norvell, Gonzaga (Guard)

Second Round Candidates | Two-Way Candidates

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