NBA Rumor: Draft Combine

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Junior Robinson might be the only player in the history of college basketball to actively reduce his height in college, only to get taller as a pro. But the notion of players and coaches fudging their proportions is nothing new. Indeed, the basic assumption is that everyone is lying. This is college basketball, after all. Everyone’s looking for any tiny edge. Why would this be any different? So when I explain this idea to some coaches — that I researched the last 11 seasons of NBA Draft Combine height measurements, compared that to the prospects’ college figures and put it all in one big spreadsheet to see where the data would take us — they chuckled knowingly. “This is a great idea,” one coach said, “if you want to see how full of shit coaches really are.”

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“It’s not always the kid,” Xavier coach Travis Steele said. “You’ll get a mentor or a parent in there saying, ‘Our Jimmy Joe is 6-foot-5!’ And you’re like, no, he’s 6-foot-3.’ We’ll get hit by parents who are sure their kid is taller than that. And it’s like, no, he’s really not.” There are other gambits, too. “You get kids who are 17 and they’re 6-foot-3, and they say, ‘Oh, (the doctor says) I’m going to be 6-foot-6,’” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “You know, ‘My growth plates are wide open.’ When I first got into coaching 30 years ago, I believed those kids. None of them — OK, very rarely — do you get a David Robinson. It just doesn’t happen.”

Fred Hoiberg might have some, well, let’s call them unresolved issues with NBA Draft Combine measurements. “I got kind of screwed with mine,” he says. Here’s the story: At the 1995 combine, Hoiberg and his fellow hopefuls were separated into groups, rotating among four stations. One was for measurements. At Hoiberg’s station, there was a cord under the carpet. He noticed it and stood on it. “It was definitely to inflate my height,” he said, laughing. “I thought it was smart.” And it totally worked: Hoiberg measured 6 feet 5 3/4 without shoes. “I’m absolutely not that size,” he said. “This was a wise business decision.”

Tabbed for this role by Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations, Boylen began preparation several weeks ago. He’s a veteran of running clinics, having done so in the past for the league in various Basketball Without Borders trips and the like. Boylen’s preparation culminated with training camp-like meetings on Sunday and Monday with the coaching staff, which includes former NBA and WNBA players in the league’s coaches development program plus current G League coaches. Former Bulls Donyell Marshall and Chris Duhon are among that group, as is former Bulls assistant coach Karen Stack Umlauf.

Keon Johnson knew what the NBA Draft combine record for max vertical leap was before he broke it this week, but even he didn’t expect to jump as high as he did. On Wednesday, Johnson jumped 48 inches in the air to break a 20-year-old record set by Kenny Gregory, who jumped 45 1/2 inches in 2001. Johnson also recorded a 41 1/2-inch standing vertical, which is also a combine record and 4 1/2 inches higher than anyone else in this year’s class. “It was great. It was a goal of mine going into it. For me to break the record and add a little bit more to it, I feel like it’s a great way for me to leave my mark on the draft combine,” Johnson said.

AJ Lawson invited to the Draft Combine

South Carolina guard AJ Lawson has reportedly been invited to participate in the NBA draft combine after a strong showing in the G League Elite Camp, according to Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Lawson was among 40 prospects to attend the G League Elite Camp over the weekend in Chicago, Illinois. He averaged 12.5 points and eight rebounds on 42.1% shooting from the field, including 36.3% from 3-point range, in two scrimmage games.

Unvaccinated players will be under a more rigid schedule this week. They’ll have to endure an extra PCR test each day. And unlike vaccinated players, they’ll have to enter a seven-day quarantine if they are ruled to be a close contact of an infected individual. Vaccinated players who return a positive or inconclusive test could be cleared to fully participate in the combine again in fewer than 24 hours; unvaccinated players may have to wait up to 48 hours — vital time when trying to make an impression on NBA decision-makers. Unvaccinated players also will have to wear face masks at all times other than when they’re on the court, in their hotel rooms, or eating and drinking.

Bryan Kalbrosky: Leaders for max vertical 2020 NBA Draft Combine: Cassius Stanley: 44″ Tyler Bey: 43.5″ Jalen Harris: 42.5″ Udoka Azubuike: 41″ Lamar Stevens: 41″ Devon Dotson: 40.5″ Josh Green: 39.5″ Grant Riller: 39.5″ Kahlil Whitney: 39″ Yoeli Childs: 38.5 KJ Martin: 38.5″ Robert Woodard: 38″

Bryan Kalbrosky: NBA Combine measurements for Devon Dotson, per source: Height (w/ shoes): 6’1.75″ Wingspan: 6’3″ Weight: 185.2 lbs Body Fat: 4.6% Standing vertical: 31.5″ Max vertical: 40.5″ Lane agility: 10.44s 3/4 sprint: 3.02s

Matt Babcock: Naji Marshall NBA Draft Combine measurements and testing: 6’7” w/ shoes 7’0.75” wingspan 233.5 lbs 10.5” hands 28.5” no-step vertical 35.0” max vertical 3.37 seconds 3/4 court sprint 11.77 lane agility 2.90 shuttle

Bryan Kalbrosky: Combine results for Duke’s Cassius Stanley, per source: Height (w/ shoes): 6’6.5″ Weight: 201.6 pounds Wingspan: 6’7″ Standing vertical: 34.5″ Max vertical: 44.0″ Lane agility: 11.4s Shuttle: 2.43s 3/4 sprint: 3.09s

“NBA Draft Combine is an essential part of the pre-draft evaluation process,” said Byron Spruell, President, NBA League Operations. “While the circumstances surrounding this Combine are unique, we’re excited to creatively deliver a valuable experience for our teams, who have remained flexible through the process, and for prospective draftees who are just beginning their NBA journeys.” NBA Draft Combine 2020 will give players the opportunity to participate in league and team interviews, both conducted via videoconference from Sept. 28 through Oct. 16. Players will also take part in an individual on-court program consisting of strength and agility testing, anthropometric measurements, shooting drills and a “Pro Day” video, all conducted in October at the NBA team facility nearest to a player’s home or interim residence. Medical testing and examinations will be performed by NBA-affiliated physicians in the same market.

In what’s likely to become one of the most wide open draft processes in years, prospective players would attend selected regional team facilities throughout the country, sources said. The plan would include team doctors administering physicals at local hospitals and league officials to recording body measurables and putting players through physical testing at team facilities, sources said. The NBA still hasn’t made a final determination on the location or format for the October 16 draft event, sources said.

As the NBA continues to ramp up its restart inside the bubble on the campus of the Walt Disney World Resort, the league continues to move toward the resumption of its offseason. The memo informed teams of the 105 players that received the most votes to be included in the league’s annual combine — a number that will eventually be whittled down to the 70 players who will take part in it. The combine, which typically takes place in Chicago in mid-May in concert with the draft lottery, still hasn’t been officially re-scheduled, but the league said in the memo that it is still evaluating potential dates and formats to hold the event.

Speaking of the combine, league sources have characterized the possibilities for the combine as fluid. The feeling is that the league does want to have some sort of in-person combine. Particularly, the league itself and team personnel want access to players’ medical information. That has always been the most important part of the combine, but it’s heightened even more this year because teams are unlikely to have players into their own facilities. In a memo the league released in early April, NBA team personnel may not conduct or attend any workout of any draft-eligible player in any location until further notice.

Per league sources, there’s an ongoing push within the NBA to hold some iteration of the draft combine, which would take place after the Aug. 25 lottery, most likely some time in September. The event is held annually in Chicago, a convenient central location for teams and players, and could still take place there, pending shifting health and safety circumstances amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nothing has been set in stone yet, with the league’s primary focus having centered on the initial return to play. Given how complicated it’s been for the NBA to set up and negotiate the logistics for the Orlando site, it’s kind of hard to see the combine taking place within that bubble. That situation is still evolving. But there are some feasible pathways to safely conducting a limited version of the combine, while minimizing close-quarters contact and still benefitting all parties.

The road to being an NBA standout has been far from easy for Covington, as he recently discussed on an episode of Next Level Leaders with Dr. Joseph Walker, III. “There were so many people that told me I couldn’t do this that it made me want to do it even more because I wanted to prove them wrong,” said Covington. “I didn’t get invited [to the NBA Draft Combine] at first. I found out through Twitter that I had gotten invited because some people had dropped out. I ended up going to the combine and that’s where I started to turn heads. I put my name right back out there.”

While the league also indefinitely postponed the combine, it is still moving forward with the hopes of holding it at some point later this year, sources said. Last week, it sent a memo to teams asking them to vote for up to 70 players from a provided list of potential invites to the combine, just as they have in the past. In the memo, which was seen by ESPN, the league said that once it does decide on a scheduled format, player will then be invited to participate.

Draft Combine taking place in Las Vegas or Orlando?

With the NBA increasingly optimistic about a return to play this summer, the NBA Draft Combine could potentially take place in Las Vegas or Orlando, sources said. Chicago is also an option, sources said. The NBA on May 1 announced the postponement of NBA Draft Lottery 2020 and NBA Draft Combine 2020, both of which were scheduled to take place in Chicago. “If there is a combine it will probably be in Chicago or Las Vegas or Orlando if that is where they are going to have the teams play if there is a season,” one NBA executive said.

It should come as little surprise, then, that LaVar Ball began laying the groundwork for LaMelo to sit out of the combine. In an interview with Forbes’ Pat Benson, LaVar was non-committal when asked if LaMelo would take part in the Draft Combine. “I don’t know if he’s going to do the draft combine because I think he’s done enough. He’s proved enough on the court already. Now it’s just finding a good team, actually, a good coach who’s going to believe in him. That’s the main thing.”
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August 4, 2021 | 1:48 am EDT Update
On Thursday, the Capitals held a news conference announcing the deal. And shortly after that, Leonsis was pulled into talks regarding the NBA’s Washington Wizards, a team that he also owns. “We had a superstar player with the Wizards, he had an opportunity and wanted to be traded to the Lakers,” Leonsis said. “And I was dealing with that as we were announcing Alex. I couldn’t help but self-reflect on what a difference it is. Here’s a great player in Russell Westbrook, played in OKC, wanted to be traded, went to Houston, wanted to be traded, came to D.C., wanted to be traded and is now in L.A. He’s an unbelievably great person and an unbelievably great player. But that’s the difference between the NBA and the NHL, I suppose.”
Dwight Howard: Philly. Philly. Philly. If a picture could describe my experience in Philly this the one. Pure love and joy. I’m sad our time together was short. But I must say I enjoyed every single moment. I am gonna definitely miss Philly and the city and all the fans. Y’all showed me so much love. And it did not go unnoticed. I love you. Thank you to the city of BROTHERLY LOVE. PHILADELPHIA. 🏆🏆🏆. Imma miss my frosty chants with the crowd.😭😭. To my brothers. This year we came up short. But we had an amazing season. Thank you to the entire 76er staff. We will always be family. And Ben. Bend ya kneeeesss 😂😂😂😂.
Storyline: Ben Simmons Slander