Each year, the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago showcases top NBA prospects being put through various drills to test their individual athletic ability. Now these numbers don’t always translate into NBA success, but they give us a good indication. As ESPN’s Chad Ford put it, “Every year the quote “best athlete in the draft” does NOT turn into the best player in the draft. Teams do take these reports seriously. This is the first objective testing that we have on these guys and sometimes our eyes do deceive us.” With that being said, let’s take a look at which three prospects helped their Draft stock, and which three prospects hurt it.
NBA DRAFT COMBINE MEASUREMENTS
Format is as follows: No step vert – Max vert – Bench press (185 pounds) – Lane agility – 3/4 court sprint
Derrick Favors: 31.5 – 35.5 – 14 – 11.74 – 3.25
Favors’ stock has skyrocketed since the combine. Going in, Favors was looked at as the default No. 3 pick, but his numbers resemble that of Dwight Howard when he came out in 2004. Favors has a higher no step vertical and is much stronger than Dwight (14 vs. Dwight’s 7 in the bench press) at this stage of his career. His numbers were so impressive, that rumors have begun to circulate that the Sixers might even take him at No. 2 over Evan Turner.
Luke Babbitt: 29.5 – 37.5 – 15 – 10.98 – 3.4
Babbitt is a guy whose athleticism has been questioned, but after recording a 37.5-inch max vertical leap, we found out that Luke has some bounce. Babbitt is not the greatest athlete by any means, but if you watch some game footage on him, you can see he definitely is a decent athlete.
Wesley Johnson: 32.0 – 37.0 – 16 – 11.43 – 3.14
Johnson raised a ton of eyebrows when he did 16 reps (of 185 pounds) on the bench press. With size, strength and athleticism, scouts are now moving Johnson up in the elite class – even comparing his numbers to Turner.
Cole Aldrich: 23.0 – 28.0 – 10 – 11.48 – 3.35
Aldrich was doomed once he measured in at 6-9 without shoes. His size was supposed to be a plus for him, and now for that to flip and become a negative is devastating. We knew that Aldrich wasn’t the most athletic big guy, but he seemed glued to the court as his max vertical was only 28 inches and he only did 10 reps on the bench.
DeMarcus Cousins: 23.5 – 27.5 – N/A – 11.4 – 3.55
Cousins started off on the wrong foot as he measured in with 16 percent body fat. His vertical was worse then Aldrich, as his max vertical was 27.5 inches. Also, Cousins declined to do the bench press because “he doesn’t lift weights.” But with all that being said, Cousins is not a raw athlete. What he is, is a very skilled big man that could make an immediate impact next year. Nonetheless, questions will continue to circulate about his work ethic and maturity.
Devin Ebanks: 23.5 – 32.- 0 6 – 11.69 – 3.44
Ebanks showed his size is legit as he measure in at 6-7 without shoes, but what most believed was Ebanks greatest strength – his athleticism – may not be the case. He measured in relatively slow or average at most of the speed drills, showing that he may not be as athletic as originally thought.
What do you think?
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