NBA Combine 2014: Prospects Who Emerged as Biggest Athletic Freaks in Draft

David DanielsSenior Writer IMay 17, 2014

Aaron Gordon, from Arizona, participates in the lane agility course at the 2014 NBA basketball draft combine Friday, May 16, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

An NBA draft prospects' physical gifts are never more apparent than at the combine.

Athletic freaks like Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid may have sat out, but other prospects made scouts forget their absence.

Here are the top four combine warriors that improved their draft stock.


Note: Combine results via


ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 05: Patric Young #4 of the Florida Gators reacts against the Connecticut Huskies during the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at AT&T Stadium on April 5, 2014 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

4. Patric Young: C, Florida

Young's greatest strength is his strength. No player bench pressed 185 pounds more times than he did—nearly breaking the combine record according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express:

Young weighed in at 248.6 pounds and boasted a body fat percentage of 5.45 at the combine—an even lower percentage than those up to 20 pounds lighter than him.

What also helped him was measuring in at 6'10" with a 7'1.17" wingspan. He had previously been listed at 6'9".


Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

3. Dante Exum: PG, Australia

According to ESPN (subscription needed), the average height of an NBA point guard is 6'2".

In shoes, Exum measured in at the combine at 6'6". Those extra inches, which include a 6'9.5" wingspan, are going to give smaller point guards fits—especially when coupled with his athleticism. 

Exum ran the second-fastest time in the lane agility drill, seventh fastest in the shuttle run and eighth fastest in the three-quarter court sprint. ESPN Stats & Info tweeted that his latter time is faster than many of the NBA's top point guards.


Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

2. Aaron Gordon: PF, Arizona

Gordon entered the combine listed at 6'8", but measured in at 6'8.75"—just a quarter-inch shorter than Kentucky's Julius Randle.

That measurement will help dispel some worries over his lack of length, but where he turned the most heads was in the athletic drills.

The 220-pound Gordon finished seventh in the lane agility drill, first in the shuttle run and ninth in maximum vertical leap—all while competing with guards who were 30 or more pounds lighter than him.

Compared to past big men, his 39-inch vertical was historic. According to ESPN:

Gordon showed more than enough athleticism to play small forward in the NBA. He also had the third-widest hands at the combine.


Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

1. Zach Lavine: PG, UCLA

At 6'5.75", Lavine is just shorter than Exum. But he's even more explosive.

Lavine finished first in the lane agility drill, second in the shuttle run, ninth in the three-quarter court sprint, fourth in standing vertical leap and third in maximum vertical leap.

According to Jay King of, Lavine said his 41.5 inch vertical could've been better:

Exum already had top five buzz, but Lavine needed to dominate the combine to cement lottery consideration. He did just that.


David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report and editor at Wade-O Radio.