5 Guys with the Most to Prove at the 2013 NBA Combine

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterMay 11, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 30:  Vander Blue #13 of the Marquette Golden Eagles looks on from the bench against the Syracuse Orange during the East Regional Round Final of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Verizon Center on March 30, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The NBA combine is a chance for prospects to get recognized.

Sparking intrigue and generating buzz should be the goal for every participant. There isn't much one can do in terms of showcasing his skills. The first two days consist of simple drills that test comfort level over anything else.

But many prospects still have something to prove at this event. Effort and fluidity are two noticeable qualities that can stand out to NBA scouts.

The following prospects will need to stand out fundamentally and physically to improve their chances at hearing their name called on draft day.


Vander Blue, Marquette

Vander Blue was a late addition who wasn't originally on the invite list. He'll need to take advantage of this opportunity, as the NBA clearly didn't originally have Blue listed as a "can't-miss" prospect.

Just two months ago, the idea of entering the draft didn't even seem like a possibility, but Blue's impressive NCAA tournament gave him the confidence to declare. Still, many project him as a borderline second-rounder.

He'll need to turn some heads during drills and testing. The more team workout invites he gets, the better chance he gets drafted.

And right now, nobody's going to select him based on what they saw the last three years. Blue will have to prove his worth over the next few weeks, starting at the NBA combine.


Adonis Thomas, Memphis

Adonis Thomas will need a strong showing at the combine to pump some life back into his stock that took a hit during his sophomore campaign.

Despite his impressive physical tools consisting of a powerful frame and fluid athleticism, he only managed to shoot 40 percent from the floor. He hasn't demonstrated many of the basic fundamentals, which is essentially what the combine drills test for.

He's likely to test well physically and athletically, but proving he's got the basketball skills to play the small forward position should be his goal at this year's event.


Ricky Ledo, Providence

After being ruled ineligible by the NCAA, Ricky Ledo never suited up a game in college before deciding to enter the 2013 draft.

For the first time, he'll be participating in basketball activities amongst other NBA prospects. Scouts and executives will likely have their eyes on him considering they haven't had the chance to see him compete.

Given he was invited to the event having not played a game, NBA personnel are clearly intrigued with what he potentially has to offer. If he looks sharp during drills and measures out to a legit 6'6'', Ledo could calm the nerves from those who might feel hesitant to highlight him on their boards.


Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota

After tearing his ACL in 2011-12, Trevor Mbakwe returned to Minnesota in a limited role as a senior. Unfortunately, his explosiveness was still left behind.

He's absolutely talented enough to be one of the 60 players drafted, but scouts will want to see he's physically capable of lasting. The athletic testing will be big for Mbakwe, particularly the vertical jump and agility drills.

Before the injury, Mbakwe was a projected lottery pick, so scouts are aware of his skill set. They just want to make sure he'll be physically capable of tapping into it at the pro level.


Steven Adams, Pittsburgh

Steven Adams' goal at the combine should be to show scouts and executives he's more than just an athlete.

Right now, his sales pitch centers around his athleticism and seven-foot size. It's what's been driving his draft stock for the past two years.

In his one year at Pittsburgh, Adams showed very little with regard to a basketball skill set. Most of his production came off catching and dunking.

Days 1 and 2 won't be that important for many of the participants, but they will be for Adams. With a number of promising centers in the pack, Adams will have lot of competition when fighting for draft position.

Proving he's got at least some offensive polish could give him an edge considering his elite physical tools.