Quick, grab your ruler--the NBA Combine is here!
That's right, the 2012 NBA Combine kicked off Thursday in Chicago, bringing together the top 60 or so North American-based prospects for team interviews, measurements, athletic testing and light drills (for those who dare go through with them). Full measurements and testing results won't be out for a couple more days, but some measurements are already trickling out, and Thursday's media day mean plenty of Q&A to pick apart and overanalyze. Hoops World has a ton of prospect interview videos to peruse, while Gery Woelfel was all over it as usual--seriously, nobody brings it in the month of June like Gery--and tweeted a number of interesting Bucks-related factoids. See below and after the jump for highlights.
- Washington swingman Terrence Ross will be working out for the Bucks, though no word on when he might be stopping by. Woelfel tweets that Ross measured 6'7.5" in shoes, a half inch above his listed height. Ross is skinny but it doesn't look like length will be an issue. Watch footage of his scrimmage work at the combine here.
- The Bucks planned to interview Connecticut big man/physical specimen Andre Drummond (7'6" wingspan, questionable ability to play basketball) on Thursday, though at this point it seems unlikely that he slips outside the top six. Speaking of which, the Charlotte Bobcats are reportedly shopping the second overall pick.
- Charles Gardner writes that the Bucks also scheduled interviews with UNC center Tyler Zeller (7'0.5" in shoes) and Duke scoring guard Austin Rivers (6'5" in shoes). Both guys figure to see their stock boosted by those measurements.
- At NBADraft.net, Jonathan Wasserman writes that Terrence Jones stood out scrimmaging against a power forward group that included Perry Jones III and Royce White. Check out some footage of Perry Jones at the Combine with commentary from Fran Fraschilla and Chad Ford about Jones wanting to be a small forward despite being best suited to the 4, as well as an interview of Jones with Andy Katz.
- Jared Sullinger measured 6'7.75" barefoot and 6'9" in shoes while tipping the scales at 267 pounds. He wasn't sure if he would work out in Milwaukee, telling Woelfel, "I don't know if David Falk will allow me to. He runs my schedule."
On its own that sounds like he's dodging the question, though in the video below he jokes about Falk keeping his list of workouts secret even from him, so who knows. The Bucks' 12th overall pick is probably towards the bottom end of Sullinger's likely range in the draft, so it wouldn't be shocking for Sullinger to refuse workouts in Milwaukee given he's gotten talk of going as high as 6th (Portland) or 7th (Golden State). Fit-wise there are both positives and negatives. On the one hand, the Bucks have plenty of bodies capable of playing power forward and a number of them (Drew Gooden, Larry Sanders, Ekpe Udoh) also see time at center, so Sullinger wouldn't be an automatic starter, especially if Ersan Ilyasova was re-signed (note: I'm feeling like that's less than a 50/50 proposition, but we'll see). Then again, the Bucks don't have entrenched starters at the big positions, so Sullinger would have every opportunity to earn minutes.
Height-wise Sullinger measured around where he was listed at Ohio State, so no big shocker there, though it certainly would have been a big boost perception-wise to come in at 6'10" even. Nominal height is fairly overrated--though they're all correlated, wingspan and standing reach better capture effective size and length--but in the knee-jerk world of the NBA draft every number will be obsessed over, game footage and resume be damned. Ironically though, Sullinger's lack of ideal height could keep him in play for the Bucks. At 6'10", Sullinger would likely never last past the 10th pick, but at 6'9" there will no doubt be teams that view him as undersized.
- While we may not see Sullinger at the Cousins Center this month, Perry Jones III confirmed that he will work out for the Bucks and Warriors next week, which I'd categorize as a good sign in general. Some of you may remember in 2008 when no one seemed interested in working out for the Bucks, and you never know how things will go in that regard. Getting an up-close look is especially important when considering a guy like Jones, who brings with him plenty of question marks after two underwhelming seasons at Baylor.
Woelfel reported that Jones measured nearly seven feet in shoes, which won't do anything to harm his stock. But does he really have the perimeter skills to be a full-time small forward in the NBA? And does he have the mental approach and killer instinct to be a star? Interesting to see him doing the drills in the power forward group given how much talk there has been of him being a wing in the NBA.
- Aside from noting that he plays with the Bucks in video games, Jones predictably addressed concerns about his college productivity. Gardner reports:
"Hopefully (my role) is very different. I sacrificed a lot in college. I gave up a lot of things, such as scoring, because I thought I had other people on my team that could score.
"I'm definitely more comfortable in the midrange area from 16 to 18 feet. I can either back down a smaller defender or face up a bigger defender."
- From the same Hoops World article, Alex Kennedy writes that Dion Waiters has already canceled workouts and interviews, triggering speculation that he has a promise in the top ten, possibly from Toronto.
- Sam Amick at SI writes that the Cavaliers are reportedly zoning in on UNC small forward Harrison Barnes.
- Ryan Kartje from FS Wisconsn takes a look at five possible lottery targets for the Bucks.