Shane Larkin waited until almost the last minute to decide he would skip his last two years of eligibility at Miami. After what he did in Chicago at the NBA combine on Friday, his decision to go pro will likely pay off.
Larkin was already considered a late first-round to early second-round pick. After he wowed scouts as arguably the best overall athlete in the NBA draft, the 5'11" point guard could ultimately find himself in the late lottery.
There were concerns about his height, but he proved he has the strength and athleticism to compensate for his stature. Hoopsworld's Steve Kyler marvels at Larkin's day in Chicago.
Steve Kyler @stevekylerNBA
Larkin measured is some of the most impressive athletic test results of the Combine... highest max vert, lane agility, and 14 bench reps.2013-5-17 23:07:08
Larkin's 44-inch max vertical leap was the highest of any player at the combine. In fact, he was top in two of the six primary drills and among the top 10 in four drills overall.
Take a look at the top 20 from the six drills per this tweet from NBA Stats. Click the image to see it enlarged.
RESULTS: Here are the #NBACombine's best scores from each of 6 different athletic tests performed by 59 participants http://t.co/DjCDgkbLQm2013-5-17 21:41:22
All combine numbers have to be taken in the right context.
But if you consider Larkin's already impressive 2012-13 production (14.5 points, 4.6 assists and 40 percent three-point shooting) and his professional athletic pedigree (dad is Hall of Fame baseball player, Barry Larkin), he was likely already on teams' radars.
Friday's performance proved that he's not only a skilled basketball player; he is also an elite athlete.
Heading into the combine, Larkin wasn't thought to be one of the top two or three point guards in the draft. He still may not be once the draft rolls around.
Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams and C.J. McCollum will be hard to surpass. What his combine numbers did was make him stand out in the second group of lead guards that consists of: Germany's Dennis Schroeder, Texas' Myck Kabongo and Baylor's Pierre Jackson.
This could be just the beginning of his ascension up draft boards.
Everything leading up to the draft is like a living resume. It actually starts in high school, moves to college—for however long that part lasts—and intensifies during pre-draft events like the combine.
Larkin has clearly done well in the most recent part of the process, but he could rise even higher after he interviews and competes in private workouts.
Because of how well he performed on Friday, Larkin is at least sure to hear his name called in the mid-to-late first round. We'll see if he can continue to surprise and sneak into the lottery.
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