The Board: NBA Prospects v2

Welcome to the post-combine version of my NBA big board.  Obviously workouts will tell us more about individual prospects as they matchup with other draft hopefuls, but the combine does allow us to get an accurate measure of an athlete’s measurables.  Those results can absolutely affect your standing among NBA executives/scouts, and there were a few eye-popping results in this year’s group.

I’ve added 15 names to the Big Board, and will comment on various prospects throughout to provide explanation as to why they fall where they do in my eyes.

In the next update, I’ll make minor changes to the list and add some scouting videos for our casual readers to check out, courtesy of DraftExpress.

Keep in mind that I rank my prospects based on how I believe they’ll produce at the NBA level, not by where I believe they will be drafted.

1.  Jabari Parker

Parker’s workouts wowed scouts after he made the choice to skip the NBA combine.  He showed the ability to create and make shots from all over the court, and also measured in big enough to warrant conversations that he’d be more adept at guarding NBA power forwards.  He could still stand to get himself into better shape, but there’s still no NBA prospect more ready for the NBA today.

2.  Joel Embiid

Embiid also worked out in full for scouts after sitting out the NBA combine.  Embiid measured a full 7′ 1″ in shoes, making him the largest prospect in this entire class.  He displayed the ability to finish with power and possessed a feathery touch around the basket.  Not surprisingly, he finished the workout winded and struggled to finish as he tired, but that’s not surprise given he’s spent a considerable amount of time rehabbing the back injury that caused him to miss the NCAA Tournament.  If doctors declare his issues to be a non-issue, you can expect him to be the #1 overall pick and the #1 prospect on my board.

3.  Andrew Wiggins

4.  Noah Vonleh

I’ve been high on Vonleh from the beginning, and it appears that many others are now following suit after his combine performance.  Vonleh measured 6′ 9.5″ in shoes, had a 7′ 4.25″ wingspan, and posted a 37″ max vertical.  Those results compare favorably to fellow PF prospect Aaron Gordon, who’s athleticism has received a worthy amount of hype throughout his college career and subsequent combine workouts

5.  Dante Exum

6.  Aaron Gordon

7.  Julius Randle

Randle took a bit of a dive on my board, but that’s no slight of Randle.  This class just continues to prove it’s incredibly talented at the top, and Dante Exum, Noah Vonleh, and Aaron Gordon answered some questions for me during the combine process, and I believe all three prospects possess a higher ceiling at this point.  Additionally, Randle struggled a bit during NBA quality front courts (especially LSU) this season, causing concerns that he’ll maintain his physical advantage at the next level.

8.  Marcus Smart

9.  Nik Stauskas

Stauskas turned in an impressive combine workout raining in buckets from all over the floor, and showing scouts he’s more than athletic enough to create looks for himself and others.  In fact, some scouts have started to wonder if Stauskas would be capable of handling more minutes at the point at the next level.  Stauskas measured at 6′ 6.5″ in shoes along with registering a 35.5″ max vert, results that exceeded expectations.

10.  Adreian Payne

11.  Gary Harris

12.  James Young

13.  Doug McDermott

14.  Dario Saric

15.  Rodney Hood

16.  Tyler Ennis

17.  Clint Capela

18.  PJ Hairston

Hairston measured in at 6′ 5.25″ in shoes and had a 37″ max vert, quality results for a prospect who has already proven to be an elite range shooter in the NBA’s developmental league.  Hairston glided through drills, posting some of the more impressive total package results in his group, and his performance continued to shine in comparison to others in the shooting guard classification.

19.  Kyle Anderson

20.  Shabazz Napier

21.  Cleanthony Early

No prospect helped themselves more in my eyes than Early.  I questioned his top end athletic ability, and well, he proved me wrong.  He posted a ridiculous 40″ max vert, among the best results of any classification in the combine, and measured in at a legit 6′ 7.25″.  However, Early is still 23 years old and I’d like to see more of that athletic burst in on-court situations before I’d be willing to move him up any farther in these rankings.

22.  TJ Warren

23.  Spencer Dinwiddie

24.  KJ McDaniels

25.  Zach Lavine

Lavine stole the show at the Combine, wowing scouts all over the place with his ridiculous skill set and bouncy frame.  He’s probably the highest riser of any prospect at the moment, and I’d expect him to go in the lottery at this point.  So why is he so low?  Simple really.  Anyone who has watched him knows he’s ultra-athletic, has a silky release, and has endless physical gifts.  But with all that, he was a middling college player who faded as the season progressed, and failed to take quality looks on a consistent basis.  Nothing he showed at the Combine alleviate his real issues as a prospect, and therefore, I didn’t move him up much.

26.  Russ Smith

27.  Elfrid Payton

28.  CJ Wilcox

Wilcox has always been a lethal shooter from the outside, but he also measured very well at the Combine (6′ 5″ in shoes and a 37″ max vert) and looked impressive physically in comparison to his peers.  That combination has a place on an NBA rotation.

29.  Nick Johnson

30.  Semaj Christon

Christon dropped farther than anyone on my board, but it’s really more of a regression to the mean.  I liked him more than most previously, but the Combine highlighted his inability to hit outside jumpers, which will make him guardable in the NBA.  Additionally, he measured smaller than I expected, making his label as a “big PG” a bit of a stretch.

31.  Jerami Grant

32.  Jordan Clarkson

33.  Thanasis Antetokuonpo

34.  Patric Young

Young measured in much taller than I was expecting at a legitimate 6′ 10” in shoes, which helps to alleviate my concern that his physical presence would have been swallowed by the NBA (you know, No Boys Allowed).  His 37.5″ max vert also suggests he has a place in the NBA as an enforcer and rim protector.

35.  Jarnell Stokes

36.  Glenn Robinson III

37.  Jahii Carson

38.  DeAndre Daniels

39.  Jordan Adams

All that can be said here is this… a 29.5″ max vertical is not very good, and that’s putting it nicely.  His game was never really above the rim though, and with a 6′ 10” wingspan, he’ll still be able to wreak havoc in the passing lanes at the next level.  That athleticism will certainly cap his ceiling a bit, though.

40.  DeAndre Kane

41.  Cory Jefferson

42.  Jusuf Nurkic

43.  Dwight Powell

44.  Markel Brown

45.  Isaiah Austin