As draft nerds are well aware, NBA-Combine-Measurements-3477/" target="_blank">NBA Draft Combine measurements have started coming in . Measurements and combine results are a small slice of the overall delicious cherry pie that makes a successful NBA player, so don't often mean much in and of themselves. But going over results is still fun. First of all, you get a solid reminder of how freaky the dimensions of these people are. Second, players can legitimately improve or ruin their draft stock if some unexpected results are found. In that NBA player cherry pie (I should stop writing these things when I'm hungry) this all does represent only a small slice, but it is the most objective slice we have. (Hard numbers are nice for a lot of reasons, one of them being ego checks. Remember when DeMar Derozan claimed he could out leap Vince Carter and came up seven inches short ? Ha.)
The jumping/running/lifting results have yet to hit the inter-webs, but we do have heights, wingspans, and body fat percentages. Consensus number one pick John Wall became even more consensus-er now that we know he has better size and length than Derrick Rose. Seriously, a 6'9.25" wingspan? For some perspective on what that means, imagine that classic bully move where the bully extends their arm and holds the other person by the head, while the person getting bullied swings their fists angrily but can only reach far enough to hit air. John Wall is the bully. Jerryd Bayless is the person swinging at air.
In other news, DeMarcus Cousins is fat . Remember how people were concerned about Kevin Love's fatness? Love's body fat percentage was 3.5 percent lower than Cousins. Is it even more scary that Cousins claims to be in the best shape of his life ? Well, Hollinger's NBA predictor thingamajig likes Cousins a lot . Chris Kaman was the only other similarly fat lottery pick and he's managed to keep it together somewhat. What we do know is that Cousins is this draft's most likely player to have a weight clause in his contract someday.
Shifting to guys the Blazers may select with the 22nd pick, Larry Sanders measured well. He has the same height and wingspan as DeMarcus Cousins, with the opposite weight problem. If the Blazers want an banger-type to come off the bench at PF and contribute immediately they may want someone who doesn't give up 15 pounds to Martell Webster.
That's the tricky part of addressing Portland's needs through the draft. There aren't many minutes available for a guy that requires significant development. If all Sanders needs is to bulk up that's one thing. Unfortunately the word "raw" shows up on his DraftExpress bio more often than I'd like. I'm not confident that this team has time for him. Really, Joel Freeland may be the best option. (And if we're talking a backup PG that fit Nate's system, Koponen is closer than you think to being that guy. But I'm biased because Finland stole my heart long ago. Moving on.)
Most of the other guys assumed to be available for Portland are the PF/SF types that will likely be playing more of a small-forward role in the NBA. (Combo -forwards? Do people say that? Can we start?) There weren't any huge measurement surprises from the mid-lower first-round members of this group, with the notable exception of Damion Jones' ridiculous 7'0.25" wingspan. The thing about combo-forwards in today's NBA is that there seem to be a lot of them available. The Blazers drafted Dante Cunningham in the second-round last year. Unless they find someone they think will be an absolute gem I'm not sure Portland wants or needs more.
All of which is why Portland should just go ahead and do what they really want, another draft n' stash special. Assuming Portland does not move up and nab someone they really want, which could be a stupid assumption, selecting French big man Kevin Seraphin would make sense. Seraphin reportedly has rare athletic ability for his size. He could develop his skills in Europe for a while longer and potentially be a cultural buddy for Nic Batum someday. Or he could just stay in Europe until everyone forgets about him. Whatever.