Is There a Draft in Here?

Some Draft Night Odds and Ends as We Prepare for Thursday Night's Action
by Joe Gabriele
Cavs.com Beat Writer


Is There a Draft in Here?

Some Draft Night Odds and Ends as We Prepare for Thursday Night's Action


Only the Phoenix Suns are on the clock at the moment, but once Thursday night’s festivities tip off, things could get weird and wild when the NBA Draft gets rolling in Brooklyn.

The Cavaliers have the No. 8 overall pick, but anything could happen before the Wine & Gold make their selection. Some big names are floating around this offseason and teams will be jockeying for a wild summer starting with the Draft.

While we wait with bated breath for Commissioner Adam Silver to approach the podium at Barclays Center, here’s a hodgepodge of Draft facts and figures that might help you pass the time until the Cavaliers are on the clock …


Left-Right: STAN LOVE, MO BAMBA, CAMPY RUSSELL, MARK TATUM, ANDRE MILLER


* There’s nothing more important when considering a player than how he measured out at the NBA Draft Combine. Of course, that’s not quite true. But some of the numbers from this year’s gathering are pretty interesting and here’s who boasts the best digits.

Lowest body fat: (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky – 3.00%)
Hand length: (Jaren Jackson, Michigan State – 10 inches)
Hand width: (Moritz Wagner, Michigan – 10.75 inches)
Height without shoes: (Isaac Haas, Purdue – 7’-1.25”)
Height with shoes: (Isaac Haas, Purdue – 7’-2.25”)
Weight: (Isaac Haas, Purdue – 303 lbs)
Standing reach: (Mo Bamba, Texas – 9’-7.5”)
Wingspan: (Mo Bamba, Texas – 7’-10”)
Standing vertical leap: (Donte DiVicenzo, Villanova – 34.5”)
Max vertical leap: (Donte DiVicenzo, Villanova – 42”)


* Kevin Love’s father, Stan, was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets eight out of Oregon, eight spots after the Cavs took Austin Carr with the top pick in 1971.


* The Phoenix Suns have never had the No. 1 overall pick in the Draft and the University of Arizona has never produced the No. 1 overall pick in the Draft – two situations likely to change on Thursday night. The highest the Suns have ever picked is No. 2 overall: taking center Neal Walk out of Florida in 1969 and UNLV forward Armond Gilliam in 1987.


* Teams with multiple first rounders in the 2018 Draft include Phoenix (No. 1, 16), Atlanta (No. 3, 19, 30), Chicago (No. 7, 22), Philadelphia (No. 10, 26) and the Clippers (No. 12, 13).


* Since 1966, only the University of Kentucky has produced more than two No. 1 overall picks – with UCLA, Michigan, Georgetown, Duke, Houston, North Carolina, Purdue, LSU and UNLV all tied with a pair of top picks overall. Three high school players have been chosen with the No. 1 overall and Andrea Bargnani and Yao Ming are the two top picks who never played organized ball in the States before being selected.


* Since John Calipari took over at Kentucky, the Wildcats have produced 23 first rounders – with Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander expected to continue that lineage on Thursday night.


A detailed view of the draft combine logo during Day One of the NBA Draft Combine at Quest MultiSport Complex on May 17, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Stacy Revere/NBAE via Getty Images


* The past No. 8 overall picks from the past 10 seasons are: Frank Ntilikina (2017 - NYK); 2016 - Marquese Chriss (2016 - SAC traded to PHX); Stanley Johnson (2015 - DET); Nik Stauskas (2014 - SAC); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (2013 - DET); Terrence Ross (2012 - TOR); Brandon Knight (2011 - DET); Al-Farouq Aminu (2010 - LAC); Jordan Hill (2009 - NYK); Joe Alexander (2008 - MIL)


* Potential lottery pick Michael Porter Jr.’s high school coach in Seattle was former Blazer and three-time NBA All-Star, Brandon Roy.


* NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum annually gets one of the loudest ovations of the night when takes the stage to announce the second round selections. But he’s also faced with having to pronounce some of the Draft’s more unmanageable monikers. On Thursday night, he could be tested by Icelandic center Tryggvi Hlinason, Latvian forward Rodions Kurucs, USC swingman Chimezie Metu, Kansas shooting guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and, of course, the Baby Freak, University of Dayton power forward Kostas Antetokounmpo – who’s predicted to go somewhere in the middle of the second round like his older brother, Thanasis.


* There are always some good bloodlines in the NBA Draft and this year is no different.

Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson Jr.'s dad played 13 seasons in the NBA, winning an NBA title with the Spurs in 1999. Duke swingman, Gary Trent Jr.’s father was drafted with the 11th pick by the Bucks in the 1995 after starring at Ohio University, where he earned the nickname “Shaq of the MAC.” Villanova guard Jalen Brunson is the son of former NBA guard Rick Brunson. And UCLA point guard, Aaron Holiday, has two brothers currently in the NBA – Jrue, a point guard with New Orleans and Justin, a forward with Chicago.


* The Cavaliers have drafted four players with the No. 8 overall pick – Campy Russell (1974), Ron Harper (1986), Andre Miller (1999) and DeSagana Diop (2001) – who’ve achieved varying degrees of success.

Campy Russell (1974) played parts of seven seasons with Cleveland and two with the Knicks, scoring nearly 9,000 career points, making the All-Star team in 1979 and leading the NBA in three-point percentage in 1981-82. Ron Harper (1986) spent his first three seasons in Cleveland but did most of his best work after being traded – eventually scoring nearly 14,000 career points and winning five titles with the Bulls and Lakers. Andre Miller (1999) played 17 NBA seasons, including his first three with the Cavs – leading the NBA in assists in 2001-02 and finishing his career as the only player in league history to finish with 16,000 career points, 8,000 assists, 1,500 steals and not make an All-Star team. Diop actually enjoyed a long NBA career – 12 seasons – despite never averaging more than 2.9 points or 5.4 boards in any of them.


* The No. 8 overall pick – like any other slot in the Draft – has produced its share of booms and busts. Here are some examples of the former dating back to the NBA-ABA merger …

Junior Bridgeman (1975 – LAL), Robert Parish (1976 – GSW), Jack Sikma (1977 – SEA), Andrew Toney (1980 – PHI), Tom Chambers (1981 – LAC), Clark Kellogg (1982 – IND), Detlef Schrempf (1985 – DAL), Rex Chapman (1988 – CHA), Vin Baker (1993 – MIL), Brian Grant (1994 – SAC), Larry Hughes (1998 – PHI), Channing Frye (2005 – NYK) and Rudy Gay (2006 – HOU)

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