On Thursday of last week, the NBA’s version of the Combine begin. A three day event, similar to players participating in the NFL Combine, the biggest name player chose to sit out the event rather than risk his stock falling.
Kyrie Irving of Duke came to the event but didn’t participate in any drills, following what big names like Blake Griffin, John Wall and LeBron James have done in years past. Irving’s measurements (6-1 ¼ height, 6-4 wingspan, 8-3 standing reach and 191 pounds) weren’t as freakish as last year’s number one pick John Wall (6-2 ¾ height, 6-9 ¼ wingspan) but were the same as notable NBA players like Deron Williams and Chris Paul.
Irving is the consensus number one pick but missed 26 games last season with a turf toe injury. But surprisingly even with the injury he is the favorite to be selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers who own the number one pick. According to Irving the toe is now completely healthy. "The foot’s good," he said. "I’m 100 percent healthy. It was a more serious case of turf toe. I tore some ligaments in my toe and we cast it for three months.”
The consensus number two pick is university of Arizona’s Derrick Williams. Williams didn’t take part in the majority of his drills but his measurements of 6-7 ¼ height, 7-1 ½ wingspan, and 248 pounds are almost exactly where current NBA player and college stud Michael Beasley measured out at. On average, Williams is about an inch taller and 15 pounds heavier than smaller forwards drafted in recent memory and interestingly would be the heaviest small forward since Rodney Rogers was drafted in 1993. The next heaviest player drafted is LeBron James who weighed in at 245.
Outside of those two players as being the most coveted, it gets pretty murky with a lot of players being regarded as potentially the third best player in the draft.
Enes Kanter is a 19 year old 6-11 center from Turkey who was ruled ineligible to play in the NBA after playing professional basketball at the age of 16 in his home country. Kanter is one of the biggest players in this year’s draft (6-11, 7 ½ wingspan, 260 pounds).
Jeremy Tyler is another big man on Lottery team’s radar. At 6-10 with a 7-5 wingspan, the longest at the Combine, Tyler caused quite a stir two years ago when he dropped out of high school and skip playing in college to pursue a professional career overseas. Tyler played in Israel and Japan but really didn’t distinguish himself except for his “NBA style body” which may be enough to get him drafted.
Brandon Knight is a point guard who could also very easily go in the top three. Knight is the latest John Calipari product off the point guard assembly line following Derrick Rose and John Wall as NBA ready players “Coach Cal” has developed recently. Knight would be an easy choice for the Utah Jazz to make at number three since moving Deron Williams to New Jersey.