NBA Draft Combine 2018: Most Impressive Measurements from Chicago

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 20, 2018

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 16:  Mohamed Bamba #4 of the Texas Longhorns blocks a shot by Jordan Caroline #24 of the Nevada Wolf Pack during the game in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

NBA prospects have a great chance at the annual draft combine to impress the league's 30 teams through a variety of ways, such as their performances in five-on-five scrimmages and agility tests.

They can also turns heads in the measurement categories, and that's the focus here as the combine officially comes to a close Sunday.

Here's a look at two players who impressed with their standing reach and wingspan measurements, in addition to two others who excelled in the leaping tests.


Standing Reach and Wingspan

Texas C Mohamed Bamba

Texas center Mohamed Bamba finished a clear first among all NBA prospects in the standing reach and wingspan measurements, registering 9'7 ½" and 7'10" marks, respectively.

His reach and wingspan helped at the collegiate level, as Bamba blocked 3.7 shots per game during his one year in school. He shouldn't be waiting long to hear his name on draft night, but given that a handful of big men are at the top of the draft board, it will be interesting to see where Bamba falls.

Presumably, the top 10 is his ceiling, and on paper, he's an excellent fit with the Chicago Bulls at No. 7. The team needs a young franchise center to build around, and it also could use a defensive anchor after finishing the 2017-18 campaign with the third-worst defensive-efficiency mark in the league.


Michigan State F Jaren Jackson Jr.

Michigan State forward Jaren Jackson Jr., who is almost certain to be a top-five pick in this year's NBA draft, registered the third-longest wingspan at the combine with a mark of 7'5 ¼". His standing reach of 9'2" was sixth-highest.

Like Bamba, Jackson was a blocking machine in college, swatting 3.0 shots per game. But he brings an added X-factor to his offensive game, and that's an ability to knock down threes. For the season, Jackson made 38 of his 96 three-point attempts for a 39.6 percent success rate.

It's hard to see Jackson slipping past the top five. He looks like a great fit at No. 3 for the Atlanta Hawks, who finished 26th in offensive efficiency, 21st in defensive efficiency and could use a young big man to pair alongside 2017 first-round pick John Collins to form the frontcourt of the future.


Standing Vertical Leap and Max Vertical Leap

Villanova G Donte DiVincenzo

Villanova guard Donte DiVincenzo had the joint-biggest max vertical leap at the combine, tying Josh Okogie of Georgia Tech at 42.0 inches. DiVincenzo stood alone in the standing vertical leap category, however, with a mark of 34.5 inches.

He was the hero of the national championship game, albeit for his efforts in a different facet of his game. Namely, DiVincenzo dropped 31 points thanks in part to nailing five of seven three-pointers. For the season, he averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

His stock has taken a dramatic rise in the past few months given his tournament and combine performances—to the point it's hard seeing him slipping out of the first round. Provided he stays in the draft—DiVincenzo has not hired an agent—look for the guard to go in the top 25.


Texas Tech G/F Zhaire Smith

Texas Tech guard Zhaire Smith gave DiVincenzo a run for his money in both leaping categories, earning a 41.5-inch max vertical (third at the combine) and 33-inch standing vertical leap (fourth).

If you type "Zhaire Smith" and "athleticism" into the same search bar, you will get tons of results linking to analysts who praised the former Red Raider's abilities in that realm. Jonathan Givony of ESPN, for example, offered high praise:

Jonathan Givony @DraftExpress

Super impressive workout from Zhaire Smith. Shot is much further along than advertised. Made a ton tonight, including quite a few sequences of 4 and 5 threes in a row. Could very well be the best athlete in the draft. https://t.co/bnb1vLdmYk

Smith showed off that athleticism with this ridiculous dunk in the NCAA tournament:

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

ARE YOU SERIOUS, Zhaire Smith? 😳😳😳 #MarchMadness https://t.co/S3rNGvkM7b

Smith's stats won't pop off the page (11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 steals), but as The Ringer's 2018 NBA Draft Guide notes, he's primarily known for his defense.

He could find a long-term home as a defensive stopper, but if Smith develops his offensive game, then he has the potential to become one of the better two-way players in the league. Smith could conceivably go in the lottery portion of the round.


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