In this part of my analysis I will go over mostly the measurements and the first 5-on-5 drill. The link for the full list of measurements, brought to you by DraftExpress, is here.
- I previously talked about my anticipation about OG Anunoby’s wingspan in my last blog. I heard from multiple websites, including DraftExpress, that his wingspan was 7’6. It turns out that it was 7’2.3. With his height at 6’8 and a freakish wingspan I think Anunoby should be drafted top 15 maybe even top 10. His knee is still a question mark and his offensive game is a work in progress. But he’s long, athletic, versatile and defensive minded, that’s a good start at becoming a fantastic two-way player.
- Justin Jackson from Maryland (not North Carolina) had great measurables. He was 6’7 with a 7’3 wingspan. He hasn’t hired an agent yet since he’s lacking any discernible skills. I think he should return to school for another year and develop a skill set that teams can point their finger at as an upside. His body type is his only upside now but another year at Maryland and he should be in the first round discussion next draft.
- Luke Kennard measured in at 6’5.5 with a 6’5.3 wingspan. I’m a Kennard skeptic. His short arms and small hands for his size have something to do with it but his poor defensive fundamentals, lack of lateral quickness, no explosion and limited handles are the basis behind my skepticism. He really needs to add a lot of offensive skills to his repertoire if he wants to stick with a team. A lot of mocks have him going first round. I just don’t see it.
- As far as “Bigs” are concerned Ike Anigbogu (6’10 with 7’6 WS), Jonathan Jeanne (7’2 with 7’6.5 WS), Justin Patton (6’11 with 7’3 WS), Thomas Bryant (6’11 with 7’6 WS) and Jarrett Allen (6’10 with 7’5 WS) were the players I had the biggest take aways with. Being tall, long and mobile is super important for the game today so even though all these “Bigs” need to work on their skills having tremendous length is a great start.
- Players who I was disappointed in their measurements were: John Collins (6’10 with 6’11 WS). Collins is a good athlete and has good ball skills but if he wants to be a starting center he’s going to have to bulk up to create separation otherwise he’ll struggle getting his shot off. Zach Collins (7’ with 7’1 WS). There’s nothing terrible about Zach Collins’ measurements, I just wish he had better length in comparison with his height since NBA length is viscous at the rim. Semi Ojeleye (6’7 with 6’10 WS). Semi doesn’t have the speed or quickness to be a small forward so NBA teams, I think, will look at him like a power forward. He has ball skills and shooting to be a solid swing forward in the NBA today. His lack of length could be an issue however when it comes to rebounding and defense.
- Players who I was pleasantly surprised from: Wesley Iwundu (6’7 with 7’1 WS). He has good passing skills for a wing; now, he has the potential to be a coveted point forward who can play multiple positions on defense. Devin Robinson (6’8 with 7’1 WS). He’s pretty frail. He needs to add strength but put him in the 3-and-D wing camp. Davon Reed (6’5.5 with 7’ WS). That’s an awesome measurement for his height, he might need to spend a couple of years in the d-league but he has upside. Hamidou Diallo (6’5 with 6’11 WS). Good day for Diallo. He didn’t take part in the 5-on-5 drills but his size and athleticism are turning some heads at the combine. I think he should stay at Kentucky but I wouldn’t blame him if he leaves. Donovan Mitchell (6’3 with 6’10 WS). That’s just a wow measurement. I rarely see guys with that height be that long. He just went from late first round pick to possible lottery selection.
I’m going to finish off by going over the first 5-on-5 scrimmage. There are two twenty minute halves and there were ten players to a team. I was thoroughly disappointed with this game. There was no standout performance, no eye popping player, no Pascal Siakam. Last year Siakam was eye popping. He made hustle plays, set great screens, dove hard to the rim, had soft hands, finished and play defense 1 thru 5. I understand this is just one 40 minute game with mostly second round talent; in the scheme of things it’s just a blip on the radar . Watching game tape is way more creditable anyways. But these scrimmages can make or break a lot of these players careers. It’s actually very important even though it might seem ancillary. Scouts and GMs get a glimpse into what players would be like in a pro-style offense. They take it very seriously.
With that said there were a few players who had solid performances. Rawle Alkins, SG/SF, freshmen from Arizona was assertive all game long while the same can’t be said about most players at this scrimmage. He made great drives, shot well and was strong on defense. He has a strong frame so he really bullied a lot of players around.
Jordan Bell, PF/C, junior from Oregon was probably my lone standout. He was everywhere on defense, switching, rotating, communicating, moving in unison with his assignments, shrinking the gaps; he had by far the most energy on the floor. He needs to improve his jump shot and time his dives better but he was setting strong screens which not many players did this scrimmage. He moved without the ball and became a nice safety valve on offense.
Sindarius Thornwell, SG/SF, senior from South Carolina was a mixed bag. He really solidified his second round projection. At times he was moving well on defense, sticking to the players hip coming off screens, then other times he get completely blown by with his slow feet. He’s a heady basketball player but his lack of athleticism really showed here. Sometimes he couldn’t stay in front of the ball handler then sometimes he pump-fake and get to the rim with ease.
Svi Mykhailiuk, SG, junior from Kansas was probably the best shooter. Monte Morris, PG, senior from Iowa State was probably the most vocal player. He looked like a backup PG for sure. Devin Robinson, SF/PF, junior from Florida. I think he should return for his senior year. He needs to add strength and fine tune his handle. Melo Trimble, PG, senior from Maryland isn’t a NBA player. Moritz Wagner, PF/C, sophomore from Michigan should return to school for another year but he definitely showed his skills on offense. Jon Jeanne, C, France, he’s weak as hell. He got pushed around all game long, committed too many fouls but has such length and ball skills some team might draft and stash him.
This first scrimmage was a let down. Hopefully the next 5-on-5 drill and Friday’s drills are more competitive. It feels like no one wants to step on each others toes, no one is communicating and the energy level was dead for most the game. The Gray team had a spurt of energy in the second half, that was it. I’ll continue this with more of my analysis later.