The 2010 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago came to a close this weekend and even though one NBA scout told us that the current format is a “waste of time” from the perspective of evaluating the prospects on-the-court, we thought we’d hit our readers with a little Combine wrap up.  

We didn’t make the trip to Chicago this year, so we scoured the web hard and for your review we gathered information from trusted writers who were actually at the event.  We concentrated our research and this post on three prospects — Evan Turner (with ball at top left), Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins.  Barring a blockbuster trade, most Draft “experts” are projecting that the 76ers will select one of those three players.  According to the info on the Draft Combine that we found online, Turner helped his stock in Chicago and Favors held his ground.  As for Cousins, well, the big man from Kentucky appears to be a mess.   

Evan Turner

NBA.com…Evan Turner, the Player of the Year from Ohio State, is telling teams there is no trace of lingering problems from the broken back suffered in an ugly fall Dec. 5. It comes with supporting evidence of several big moments after returning. NBA doctors will obviously do their own checks, measuring potential long-term problems in years and now how Turner feels nearly six months since the injury. The swingman most often compared to Brandon Roy because he can play point guard as well is all but locked in to the 76ers with the second pick.

Draftexpress.comEvan Turner has short arms relative to his height, coming out at a solid 6-5 3/4 without shoes, with a 6-8 wingspan. His wingspan is in fact shorter than that of John Wall, despite being 3 inches taller. That didn’t seem to affect Turner at the college level as a rebounder(9.2 per game) or as a defender (he’s one of the best perimeter stoppers in this draft), but it will be interesting to see how this affects his finishing ability in the NBA. Turner is considered average from an explosiveness standpoint.

Interestingly enough, Turner’s measurements are quite similar to those of Brandon Roy (6-5 ¼ without shoes, 6-8 wingspan), the player he’s most often compared to.

The Baseline (@ sportingnews.com)… Turner said one of the biggest changes in his game since arriving at Ohio State has been an improved attitude. He said he is less negative than he used to be and doesn’t dwell on problems that come up on the court. “Mentally, I grew, and especially with confidence,” Turner said. “I struggled with confidence issues, but now I try to be as positive as possible. I try to see the cup as half-full and not half-empty. Just changing my outlook on life, not dwelling on the bad things and just accepting things that happen and saying, OK, how am I going to work myself out of this?”

RealGM.com…Turner didn’t back down to questions about why he should go No. 1 overall, something I don’t agree with, but I like the feistiness of his response. It was always apparent that Turner is a thoughtful and hard-working type of person, but I was concerned with how self-assured he would be. That’s an excellent sign if I’m Ed Stefanski.

Hoopsworld.com…There is almost no doubt that both Turner and Wall will handle life in the NBA well, and given how teams are talking about both there is almost no chance those are not the top two names called.

Derrick Favors

Draftexpress.com…Derrick Favors’ measurements (6-8 ¾ without shoes, 7-4 wingspan, 9-2 standing reach) are excellent as well, giving him enough size and length to slide into the center position (once he bulks up) and giving him terrific dimensions for a power forward. As the youngest player in the draft, Favors needs to continue to add bulk to his 245-pound frame, but that doesn’t appear to be an issue at all. As time moves on, he will continue to fill out and add muscle in the weight room.

Interestingly enough, Favors’ measurements compare quite favorably with those of Dwight Howard, a player he draws some (perhaps slightly optimistic) comparisons to. Howard measured just a quarter of an inch taller than Favors at the same age, was five pounds lighter and had a wingspan just half an inch longer. His measurements are comparable to the likes of Chris Bosh, Nene and Emeka Okafor, and are superior to those of Al Horford, another player who he’s often compared to.

RealGM.com…I asked Favors how he thinks he can play with Brook Lopez, should the Nets select him.  “I think I can play with him pretty good. He’s a low post player. Since I was at Tech, I’m more of a high post player.”  Favors expects his defense and rebounding to be instantly translatable to the NBA.

Hoopsworld.com… In every draft class there is a kid that comes off as being one year away, and this year its Favors. Derrick is a bright young man, who is a little overwhelmed and nervous about the process. He is soft spoken and tends to blend in – as much as a 6’10 basketball player can.

SBnation.com… It’s not that Favors necessarily said anything wrong, it’s that he really didn’t say much at all. Very guarded and laid back, Favors gave the most one-word answers in the group. I can’t say anything Favors said or did hurt his draft stock, but he was a little underwhelming in the interview process. He did measure fairly well, which in all honesty is more important.

DeMarcus Cousins

 NBA.com…had the second-highest percentage of body fat among the 52 participants during the physicals. Said one executive of the questions Cousins is facing from teams: “If everybody is asking you if something’s wrong, something’s wrong.”

Draftexpress.com…DeMarcus Cousins’ measurements are phenomenal. He stands 6-9 ½ without shoes, with a gigantic 7-5 ¾ wingspan and a standing reach of 9-5. He’s a physical specimen at the center position, with measurements similar to that of Brook Lopez (just much bulkier), and superior to those of Dwight Howard (who was 18 at the time he was measured and could have very well grown since), Greg Oden and Al Jefferson.

The only concern is his high body fat percentage of 16.3%, which ranks as the 12th-highest figure of any player in our database. By comparison, Mike Sweetneycame in at 14.1% and Shaquille O’Neal 12.2%. What’s alarming here is that Cousins is considered to be in the best shape of his life at the moment. Both he and his agent are making a big deal of the fact that he’s been eating as healthy (“seafood and salad diet”) and working out as intensely as he ever has. NBA teams are worried about Cousins resting on his laurels once he’s been drafted and signs a contract. This measurement won’t ease any of those concerns.

SI.com…GMs have noticed Cousins’ troubling attitude on the court. One general manager said Cousins looked like he didn’t even want to be on the court when he went through drills this week. Another said Cousins did better in his private interview than he anticipated, but not nearly enough to make the GM think Cousins’ reputation was unwarranted.

The Baseline (@ sportingnews.com)… Kentucky C DeMarcus Cousins continues to battle a negative perception, or, as he put it: “People think I am this thug or this bad person or this murderer or something.” Over the course of his media session, Cousins was by turns funny and surly, clearly agitated by the questions about his attitude.

His teammate, PG John Wall, was sympathetic. “There’s nothing wrong with DeMarcus,” Wall said. “He is an emotional guy; that is just how he is. He shows it. He is always going to be that way, but it is not some big thing. I think he just got a bad rap, and everyone keeps repeating it. But he is a good teammate and a good guy.” …

RealGM.com…The DeMarcus Cousins show was probably the highlight of the day, at least in terms of having levity. He was asked a ton of tough questions, but held in like a champ. He didn’t try to be any different than the person he truly is and that’s to be respected. He will have some bouts of immaturity and he didn’t attempt to hide from it, instead embracing it and in the process disarming it.

Maybe it’s because they’re both incredible rebounders, who have battled fitness issues and are from Alabama, but there is a lot of Charles Barkley in his personality. His delivery of answers is similar in the sense that he makes you laugh even if it is a one or two word answer.

“My work ethic is a lot better than it used to be,” said Cousins, who says he’s been on a diet of ‘salad and seafood’.

Cousins was asked if a team was choosing between himself and Wall for the top pick, who would be the right selection.

“Depending on what the team needs,” replied Cousins, in a serious but joking manner.

Toronto, Golden State and Minnesota had all interviewed Cousins before Thursday. The Raptors asked a lot of questions about his character, while the Warriors were concerned with his conditioning.

I asked Cousins if he’s familiar with the Triangle offense, which is frequently run by Kurt Rambis and the Wolves.

“I know of it, but I’ve never played it.”

“You saw a lot of back to the basket (from me) this year, because that’s how I was told to play,” said Cousins. “But I have a lot more aspects to my game.”

Hoopsworld.com…think Rasheed Wallace on his worst day. DeMarcus created enough of a stir that his fellow Kentucky teammates ultimately were asked about playing withhim and their answers were not flattering.  Conversations with team personnel last night after the meetings revealed the perception of Cousins is not very high and while a team in the top five likely selects him, as one GM explained, teams are trying to talk themselves into drafting Cousins because he’s so big and projected so high as player.  The running joke after Day 1 was that someone should start a pool for how many times this season DeMarcus blows up after a game and blames someone else for his situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.