The 2014 NBA draft combine is well underway, and we've already seen a handful of surprises.
While on-court drills are closely watched, prospects' draft stocks aren't altered significantly in the way an NFL prospect can plummet after a bad 40-yard dash. However, measurements are a whole other story.
Height and reach are pivotal in a league dominated by size. Some prospects enter the combine after being listed at a certain size throughout their college careers, but they measure quite differently during this process.
While at college, coaches will attempt to hype up players by listing them at their full heights with shoes on. This may help for a while; however, when each prospect is measured in socks at the combine, the results can be devastating.
Let's take a look at a few players who had some rather surprising measurements in Chicago.
Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona
Gordon has been flying up draft boards since his stellar showing in the NCAA tournament. His big motor and spirited play on both ends of the court were very appealing to NBA franchises.
Throughout his career at Arizona, Gordon measured 6'9", according to ESPN.com. Chad Ford of ESPN tweeted out Gordon's actual measurements:
Aaron Gordon measured 6' 7.5 in socks, 6' 11" wing, 8' 9" standing reach, 220 pounds. He's right there with Randle.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 15, 2014
So, Gordon's height is now lowered by 1.5 inches.
That's quite a difference for a power forward. Sure, Gordon is still the same player he's always been, and he will still likely be a lottery pick, but you have to wonder how this change in height may affect his potential outlook.
Doug McDermott, SF/PF, Creighton
We all know McDermott's capability to drain buckets from anywhere. Even without much of a supporting cast at Creighton, he lit up scoreboards on a game-by-game basis no matter if he was double covered or triple covered.
While McDermott was with the Bluejays, he measured at 6'8", according to ESPN.com. That changed in a big way after another Ford tweet on Thursday:
Doug McDermott measured 6' 6" in socks. 6' 9.25" wing. 8' 7" reach. 218 pounds.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 15, 2014
A full two-inch decrease in height is huge for McDermott.
Even after the measurement, there's no questioning his shooting ability; however, his versatility may be limited to simply a small forward in the NBA. His biggest weakness while at Creighton was his defense, and coming in at 6'6" doesn't exactly bring an increase in confidence.
Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
Smart will undoubtedly be one of the first guards taken in the 2014 NBA draft. He's a great ball-handler, sees the court well and is very intelligent. He may be a slightly inconsistent shooter, but he drives into the lane with aggression and plays some solid defense.
During his stint at Oklahoma State, Smart measured 6'4", according to ESPN.com. Once again, that changed after Ford tweeted his actual measurements:
Marcus Smart measured 6' 2" in socks, 6' 3.25" in shoes. 6'9.25" wing, 8' 3" standing reach. 227 pounds.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 15, 2014
That would be yet another two-inch difference.
Yes, Smart's drop in height may not be as much of a factor as his frontcourt counterparts; however, one of his best attributes is on the defensive end of the court. A drop in height could cause concerns about his ability to defend on the perimeter. He'll still be an early draft pick, but his height differential is intriguing entering the draft.