2014 NBA Draft Combine | Day 2

Welcome back inside the Quest Multisport Complex here on the west side of Chicago where the NBA Draft Combine wraps up its final day of evaluations. Today is segmented into two parts: The coaches run the players through a collection of full-court and half-court drills, and then the through the measurable testing (vertical, sprint, shuffle drills, etc.) to showcase how they stack up athletically against the rest of the field.

This morning, I watched Andy Katz have a try at the testing. I think the players will do a tad better:


Same format as Thursday, with four groups working out consecutively. They tend to break these groups into like positions, so we start with the point guards and move toward the bigs. The drills on the court include full-court weaves, 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 half-court competitions, shooting, ball-handling and more. While the first group works out, the next group begins preparation to take center court (shooting, stretching, etc.).

There is a lot to take in here, so I’ll try to break this down as best as I can for you. Yesterday, I spent the morning/afternoon talking with prospects during the media sessions. Today, I’m stationed baseline watching them work out.

At the moment, I’m enjoying a who’s who of basketball personalities getting set up to watch the events. I’m sitting two rows behind Danny Ainge to the left and Rick Carlisle to the right. About three steps away from me, Tom Thibodeau is having a conversation. On the other side of the basket stanchion, Scottie Pippen is sitting in the first row and Jerry West is standing and talking to a couple folks. These Draft workouts, especially the Combine, bring out literally everyone. It’s a big deal trying to find a player who will ideally be on your roster for the next decade, and you want to make sure you’re getting an up-close view. Other prominent figures included Tim Hardaway, Sr., Chris Mullin and Mike Dunleavy, Sr.

Other notes from in-house: the Timberwolves have a pretty big presence here at the Draft Combine. Assistant coach David Adelman has been helping run drills on the court the past two days, and trainer Dave Crewe was here yesterday helping out. Today, trainers Mark Kyger and Koichi Sato are both on staff helping out wherever they can as the athletes prep and prepare. It’s good to see the Wolves having kind of a front-and-center role in this process—especially since the team will not host the league-wide Draft workouts for late-first round/second round picks this spring like they typically do.

Another Wolves alum was on the court, too: former big man Mark Madsen was helping in the same group as Adelman. He’s currently a player development coach for the Lakers.

Now as far as on the court goes, Doug McDermott had a quote yesterday about how there are a lot of good shooters in this class—there aren’t a lot of misses on the court. He’s right about that. Pretty good shooting motions here in Chicago. We’re seeing guys lose their handle from time to time or miss a layup, but the nerves eventually subside. At the end of the day it’s still basketball.

A couple notes from players that I noticed today:

  • In the first group, Jordan McRae had a monster jam driving straight through the paint in transition and elevating for a one-handed slam. Very impressive.
  • Joe Harris showcased nice touch on his jumpshot by hitting a 3-pointer earlier in the day, although he did miss a layup during the drills as well.
  • Zach LaVine shot well yesterday and started out strong today, too, but the latter half of his workout wasn’t quite as productive. He was streaky in the final portion of his workout.
  • Winona-native Alec Brown held his own on the court. The Wisconsin-Green Bay product showcased his ability to run the floor and hit mid-range shots during his workout. He also picked up a nice block defending in the post in a 2-on-2 drill.
  • Great athleticism and speed from Thanasis Antetokounmpo. He is the older brother of Giannis, who was a rookie with the Bucks last year. At 6-foot-7 and 210 pounds, Thanasis played in the D-League last year and doesn’t have the same size of his younger brother. But, judging by his workout, he does have the athletic ability.
  • Jahii Carson, Marcus Smart and Zach LaVine warming up before taking the court. pic.twitter.com/VdoQt5lCx6

    — Mark Remme (@MarkRemme) May 16, 2014

  • Pretty solid shooting from K.J. McDaniels, Rodney Hood and Cleanthony Early during the 2-on-2 and individual workout drills. McDaniels mentioned he thought he shot better yesterday than people might have anticipated. By my estimation he did the same thing today.
  • I did not get a chance to see Marcus Smart, James Young or Doug McDermott on the court. Apologies there.

We will have more content on the Draft throughout the next month and a half, including individual workouts at Target Center that will start up in the next week or so. We’ll provide full coverage of those, and we’ll also do a series of Draft Prospect Profiles like we did last year. Stay tuned for full, exclusive coverage as we get closer to the Draft.

And remember, Milt Newton will be representing the Wolves in New York at the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery on May 20. You can watch that on ESPN at 7 p.m. CT that night.