I am sure I am not the only person who has been waiting for the DraftExpress.com to post the 2012 NBA Draft Combine Measurements and analysis on the true sizes of the incoming rookie class.
With the Blazers holding the #6 and #11 picks in the upcoming draft, many BlazersEdgers have been discussing some specific prospects who are likely to be among "best players available" when the 'Zers are on the board. Let's see how these measurements CHANGE your opinions on how these players will transition into the pro game, and more importantly, how they would fit as a Blazer.
Andre Drummond compared to the three "Seven-Footers
-While the other top players in this class seem to fit well with the other prospects at their positions in the NBA, Andre Drummond (6'9.75 without shoes, 7'6.25 wingspan, 279 pounds) breaks the mold at the center position. Drummond is a fraction of an inch shorter, 30 pounds heavier, and has a 4 inch longer wingspan than the average center in our database. Couple that with his stellar athleticism and you have one of the more unique players in this draft class.
Drummond measured in as the heaviest and longest player at the 2012 combine, and his wingspan ranks him among the top-20 players ever entered in our database. As a point of reference, Alonzo Mourning (6'9.5 without shoes, 7'6.5 wingspan, 249 pounds) and DeMarcus Cousins (6'9.5 without shoes, 7'5.75 wingspan, 292 pounds) seem to share Drummond's combination of length and weight, but Drummond's body fat (7.5) is lower than both Mourning's (9.1) and Cousins's (16.4). Drummond ties Malta's giant center prospect Samuel Deguara (7'3.4 without shoes) for having the lowest body fat in our entire database among prospects weighing over 270 pounds.
-There were three 7-footers measured in Chicago: Meyers Leonard (6'11.75 without shoes, 7'1.25 with shoes, 7'3 wingspan, 250 pounds), Tyler Zeller (6'11.25 without shoes, 7'0.5 with shoes, 7'0 wingspan, 247 pounds), and Fab Melo (6'10.75 without shoes, 7'0 with shoes, 7'2.5 wingspan, 255 pounds). Leonard was the tallest player in attendance, but had only the 9th longest wingspan.
Jared Sullinger - Rebounding post player
-Another player whose size is often questioned, Jared Sullinger (6'7.75 without shoes, 7'1.25 wingspan, 268 pounds) would rank a fraction of an inch taller than average for a power forward (6'7.66 without shoes) but over two inches below average for a center (6'9.81). Potentially able to contribute at both positions at the next level thanks to his skill level and 268 pound frame, Sullinger is most similar to Kevin Love (6'7.75 without shoes, 6'11.25 wingspan, 255 pounds) physically.
Harrison Barnes - Big and long Small Forward prospect
-Harrison Barnes (6'7 without shoes, 6'11.25 wingspan, 227 pounds) measures out in a range more commonly reserved for combo forwards, as he's an inch taller than the average small forward in our database with a wingspan just under a full inch longer. There are not many ideal comparisons for Barnes physically from measurements taken in recent years, but he is somewhat similar to Joe Alexander (6'7.25 without shoes, 6'11.5 wingspan, 220 pounds).
Barnes, Drummond and Sullinger are three of the likely "BPA" when the Blazers go at #6. Right now I would continue to rank them A. Drummond B. Sullinger C. Barnes. Anyone who thinks Sullinger couldn't play the 5 next to Aldridge in a line-up, check the numbers, K-Love is Legit NBA Center and they have identical height & wingspan.
At the #11, the Blazers best players available list is long:
Shooting Guards Bradley Beal, Jeremy Lamb, Austin Rivers, all measured similarly and anyone of them could become a star Closer in the game, but it might be "Paper-Rock-Scissors" to get the one who hits legit in the big league. Any of these guys will be listed on a roster at either 6'4" or 6'5". Scoring Guards Damian Lillard and Dion Waiters are 6'2" or 6'3" on the roster. To me, none of these prospects lowered their draft potential, but give Jeremy Lamb a bump due to his 6'11 wingspan that was a few inches on the field. Here I feel that Austin Rivers has the most star potential and upside. I would be excited about Portland landing Jeremy Lamb here as well.
Another option talked about has been was Kendall Marshall, who is a big PG 6'3.5 without shoes and 6'4.5" in shoes, but his wingspan was 6.5.5", which is not the "lengthy" ratio for a player of his height. Regardless Marshall is on the potential Best Player Available for Portland's #11. For #11 my Blazers Draft Board has A. Austin Rivers B. Kendall Marshall C. Jeremy Lamb
If Portland wanted to go BIG with their #11, there are some interesting options. Kentucky's Terrence Jones measured in as a beast. 6'8.25" without shoes and a 7'2.25" wingspan is an interesting combo forward, but I am not certain of how Batum-Jones-Aldridge 2-3-4 lineup would work. Post propspect Perry Jones also measured in with stellar numbers... Many on Blazersedge have wondered about "going big" with both of the first round picks, and grabbing one of these Jones' plus either Drummond or Sullinger could really bolster the Blazers frontcourt.. but leave the cupboard fairly bare in the back court.
-Perry Jones (6'10.25 without shoes, 7'1.75 wingspan, 234 pounds) runs the line between oversized small forward and skinny power forward. He would be the tallest small forward in our database should that be the position he ultimately plays at the next level, and his measurements are not unlike those of Jared Jeffries (6'10 without shoes, 7'0.5 wingspan, 230 pounds). At the power forward position, Jones still would rank as one of the top-20 players in our database in terms of height, being essentially the exact same size as a young (2004) Tiago Splitter (6'10.25 without shoes, 7'2 wingspan, 233 pounds).
-Terrence Jones (6'8.25 without shoes, 7'2.25 wingspan, 252 pounds) is an interesting case. He resembles a number of high level talents like Al Horford and Amare' Stoudemire in terms of height and wingspan, but is rather unique because of his 252 pound frame. His weight would actually place him above the mean for all center prospects in our database and is unique for a young athletic power forward. The best comparison for Jones physically may actually be Juwan Howard circa 1994 (6'8.5 without shoes, 253 pounds).
Second Round Picks #40 and #41
In the second round, there are some players that look to be impact ballers in the NBA, but the Blazers would have to likely package the two picks to move up for them: Stud Michigan State wing Draymond Green who was recently named All-American had IDENTICAL measurements to Michael Kid-Gilchrist. But Green could be a similar NBA success to Jared Dudley who is an effective starter in Phoenix... with more athleticism. Other players that Portland might look to move up to in the early part of the second-round are Rebounding-Wizard SF Kevin Jones who will be 6'8" on the roster and measured a 7'1.5" wingspan. Or PG prospect from Washington Tony Wroten who was 6'4.75" without shoes and a 6'9" wingspan.
Waiting for Portland at the #40 and #41 could be some diamonds in the rough. Scoring Guard Jared Cunningham measured very favorably to Beal and Rivers. Another prospect who actually got a boost from the combine measurements was versatile wing Jae Crowder, in shoes 6'6.5" with a 6'9.25" wingspan was a whole inch taller in and out of shoes than expected. Potential Post prospects Center/PF prospect Kyle O'Quinn measured 6'8.5" without shoes and a 7'5" wing span, PF Drew Gooden measured 6'8" without shoes with wingspan of 6'11.5". Another PF who has gone to Portland in mock drafts is Alabama senior JaMychal Green who was bigger than expected at 6'8" with a 7'2.25" wingspan.
On another note... I really don't like the prospects for Point Guard in this draft and feel Portland should give Nolan Smith one more year of development behind whomever Free Agent is brought in to be the starter. This means that Point Guard is Portlands clearest #1 priority in free agency.