NBA Pre-Draft Combine In Chicago: Day 2 News & Notes

US PRESSWIRE

News and notes from day two of the Pre-Draft combine in Chicago, where the Portland Trail Blazers are scouting for the 2013 NBA Draft.

Here's a round-up of stories from day two of the 2013 Chicago pre-draft combine. Day one news and notes were posted here.

Jason Quick of The Oregonian runs down some of the guards that the Portland Trail Blazers interviewed this week.

In the Blazers' case, [GM Neil] Olshey said the majority of the interviews were handled by team performance psychologist Dana Sinclair because he expects most of the 18 players to visit Portland. Olshey and his staff did, however, interview UCLA wing Shabazz Muhammad and Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams, perhaps because it would be their only chance to interview them before the draft.

...

[Carter-Williams] also said the Blazers were one of two teams that asked him about his on-the-court body language, which teetered between pouting and surly during stretches of this season at Syracuse.

"They were one of the teams to ask me about it," Carter-Williams said of the Blazers. "I told them my body language didn't have anything to do with my coaches or my teammates. I hold myself accountable, and to a high standard, and when I'm disappointed in myself that frustration comes out a little bit. I don't let it affect my game, but it's definitely something I can work on. I think it's something that I can fix, something that is easy to change, so I don't think it's a problem."

Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com offers some news and notes from day two.

"I'm not sure I want the No. 1 pick," said one NBA general manager.

Another looked frightened at the thought of having to draft someone first this year.

"There's really no one worthy of the top pick," he said. "But someone has to go number one."

...

• No one was hurt more in the measurements and testing than Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk. He is 6-foot-10 and 3/4 without shoes, but he has a wingspan of just 6-9 3/4. For a comparison, Nerlens Noel was actually shorter at 6-foot-10, but has a 7-3 3/4 wingspan.

...

• Don't read much into which teams interviewed which players out in Chicago. Many teams lined up guys they know won't come in for actual workouts over the next few weeks. For instance, Boston -- picking No. 16 -- interviewed Victor Oladipo, who is expected to go before the Celtics pick. Danny Ainge and his staff also brought in Noel, who is expected to go either first or second overall.

All That Amar of SLC Dunk did some great work from the combine.

Chad Ford of ESPN.com breaks down the results of the athletic testing portions of the combine.

We typically don't make a big deal out of the standing vertical jump, but in the case of Indiana's Cody Zeller, we'll make an exception. Zeller's score (35.5) was the highest ever recorded by a player taller than 6-foot-9. Standing vertical jumps matter for big men, who typically don't get a running start before jumping in the paint.

...

Of the players projected in the lottery, Zeller was the most impressive. He got a reputation this season as someone who struggled to play against long, athletic players. However, he excelled in every category Friday. He was explosive, quick and fast. He clearly showed some of that at Indiana with the way he ran the floor and at times showed explosion around the basket, but this result could only help him.

"It was a big day for Cody, I thought," one GM said. "I think we soured on him just a little too much. I still have questions and want to see him shooting the ball more. But this really helped us get intrigued again."

A look at winners and losers from Ford.

France's Rudy Gobert also wowed with sheer size. His 7-foot-8.5 wingspan and 9-foot-7 standing reach both were record measurements by the NBA. While Gobert didn't look particularly explosive, nor was he particularly skilled offensively, he was a handful around the basket and could, with another 20 pounds of muscle, be a nightmare around the basket. Scouts weren't ready to declare him a lottery pick, but they did love the effort.

...

North Carolina's Reggie Bullock also drew praise for his shooting (see percentage above). Miami's Shane Larkin and Murray State's Isaiah Canaan both impressed out of the point guard group. Ricardo Ledo also stood out for a number of NBA GMs who were getting their first look at him.

...

It's pretty hard to hurt your stock in a camp like this. But there was some negativity around the poor shooting performances by Archie Goodwin, B.J. Young and Vander Blue. All three players really struggled to look the part of "shooting" guards in the drills Thursday.

The Sporting News on Miami guard Shane Larkin's impressive testing results.

Shane Larkin is wowing scouts at the NBA Draft combine, showing off a 44-inch vertical leap that is eye-popping for a 5-11 guard. That's not all: Larkin, from Miami (Fla.), also has turned out a combine-best sprint time and did 34.5-inch leap from a dead standstill.

Are the Blazers eyeing a trade up for Indiana Hoosiers guard Victor Oladipo?

J. Michel of CSNBaltimore.com checks in on the draft prospects of Maryland center Alex Len after an ankle injury took him out of all pre-draft workouts.

"It would be nice to see him in these types of workouts," said Ryan Blake, senior director of NBA scouting operations. "If someone's done their homework well, gone to practices, gone to see those games and crunched those numbers and you like him, that's good. But he's got his ankle issues. I don't think that helps him. It would've been good to have all the teams see him. He can't help that. He's going to get drafted. It may be high lottery or it may be low first round. You just don't know.

"It's early. Its a draft where you go, 'There's a lot of good players here.'"

Go here for all of DraftExpress.com's video interviews with prospects one after another.

CSNNW.com has its video vault here.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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