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The opinions expressed in this column do not represent those of the Boston Celtics front office personnel.
CHICAGO – The running, the jumping, the shooting and the interviewing is complete. On to the private workouts.
Another NBA Draft Combine has closed in Chicago, and with that, all 30 NBA teams have a bunch of information to digest. Much of that information can be found in an Excel file of measurements and testing results.
You don’t need all of that information, so we’ll cut off all the fat and give you all the need-to-know results. Here are some of the top results from the two-day event.
Top Max Vertical – 44 inches - Kay Felder
It didn’t take long for someone from this year’s Combine to match the highest max vertical from last year’s Combine. Kay Felder, a 5-foot-9 point guard out of Oakland, leaped 44 inches on the max vert during the first day of testing, which tied Pat Connaughton’s top mark from one year ago. Felder is a freak athlete, but he has one downfall that he can’t change: his height. That being said, he’s the same size as Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas (at least on paper), so he might be able to find a niche in the NBA. He showcased supreme athleticism and a high motor throughout his team’s two games this week. He’s one of those guys that is a sparkplug off the bench with his energy and athleticism.
Top Lane Agility – 10.26 seconds - Joel Bolomboy
Joel Bolomboy wasn’t quite as agile as Devin Booker, who logged last year’s fastest lane agility time at 10.22 seconds, but he was pretty darn close. The lane agility drill is essentially a four-point drill around the lane, where the player starts at the left corner of the free-throw line, sprints to the bottom left corner of the lane, shuffles to the bottom-right corner of the lane, backpedals to the right corner of the free-throw line, shuffles to the left corner of the free-throw line, then reverses the course before ending where he started. It’s a great test to see how quickly a player can shift directions and it gives a look into his footwork. The fact that Bolomboy notched this number as a 6-foot-9 big man says a lot about his athleticism.
Top Shuttle Run - 2.64 seconds- Malcolm Brogdon
Malcolm Brogdon was one of the best players to participate in the 5-on-5 games this week, and he didn’t hurt himself with his testing numbers, either. Brogdon, a 6-foot-5 guard, logged the fastest shuttle run at the Combine and only one other player, Marcus Page (2.69 seconds) came close to his mark. Brogdon has been regarded by most as an early-second round pick. His play this week, as well as his testing numbers, may have pushed him toward the first round.
Top Height with Shoes – 7-foot-2 ¼ - Zhou Qi
China has delivered yet another incredibly tall, skilled big man. This year’s prospect is named Zhou Qi, and he measured in at an impressive 7-foot-2 ¾ with shoes on. That height was more than an inch taller than the next-tallest prospect, which was Jakob Poetl, at 7-foot-1. Qi has very good feet for a player of his height. He’s a player who I’d describe as “light on his feet.” He can also really shoot the ball, well into NBA 3-point range. He shot 14-of-25 from long distance during his stationary shooting drills. However, Qi is very, very frail. He weighed in at only 218.2 pounds; there were three guards who weighed more than he did.
Top Wingspan – 7-foot-7 ¾ - Zhou Qi
Along with great height comes a great wingspan. Think about how much space a 7-foot-7 ¾ wingspan can take up on an NBA court. To put it into perspective, the widest wingspan that was recorded at last year’s Combine was 7-foot-5 ½ by Robert Upshaw. That’s more than two inches shorter than Qi’s measurement. Qi’s wingspan is the widest measurement since Rudy Gobert was marked down at 7-foor-8 ½ back at the 2013 Combine.
Top Hand Length – 9.5 inches - Dedric Lawson, Ben Bentil
Last year’s top hand length got a lot of attention, and rightfully so. Upshaw’s hands measured in at 10 inches long, matching the greatest measurement since the 2012-13 Combine. No one came close to that number this year. In fact, Dedric Lawson’s and Ben Bentil’s top measurement of 9.5 inches fell a half-inch short of Upshaw’s mark. Still, they topped the sheets this year, which is saying a lot seeing as neither player ranked in the top 20 of the Combine when it came to height.