The 2013 NBA Draft Combine took place on Thursday and Friday morning with players showcasing their talents to a gym full of general managers, coaches and scouts. On Thursday, players hit the court and displayed their basketball skills with each position participating together. Friday consisted of recording the players' measurables, from their height without shoes to their maximum vertical leap. Many players improved or hurt their draft stock with their performance and a number of them were potential Celtics draft picks. Lets take a look at who those players were that will likely be available when Boston makes its pick at 16:
Dennis Schroeder, PG, Germany:
The wiry international point guard didn't participate in the skills portion of the combine on Thursday, but not for the same reason that many top prospects chose to sit out. Schroeder was suffering from a toothache at the time. However, it was reported by Chad Ford of ESPN that Schroeder, along with Greece's Giannis Antetokoumpo, received a promise by a team to be selected in the first round. That team is likely to be one that finds itself at the end of the lottery (the lottery is on Tuesday), or a team in the middle of the first round. Could that team be the Celtics? It would appear unlikely because Boston already has a player similar to Schroeder.
Along with his game, Schroeder's measureables have drawn comparisons to Rajon Rondo. Like Boston's point guard, Schroeder's hand width is massive, recorded at 10.5 inches. His wingspan of 6'7, compared to his height at 6'1, also makes him incredibly long. The Celtics will be in search of a point guard this offseason and Schroeder is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft, but the likelihood of him ending up in Boston doesn't appear strong, especially considering Schroeder's preferences.
Shane Larkin, PG, Miami:
Larkin didn't initially reveal anything we didn't already know about him on Thursday. His quickness and shooting came through in the various drills. However, so did his height, or lack thereof. Among his own peers at the point guard position, he was clearly undersized.
On Friday though, he shined and impressed with his athleticism. In the maximum vertical leap, Larkin recorded the second-highest mark at 44 inches. For comparison sakes, Victor Oladipo, who's athleticism is considered off the charts, measured at 42 inches. Larkin also did well in the sprint drills, but it's hard to ignore his height of 5'10.25 without shoes.
Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse:
Unlike Larkin, Carter-Williams' height helped his cause at the combine. He was considerably taller than the other point guards. He also tested well in the athletic drills and posted a jump of 41 inches in the max vertical leap. His shooting is a little suspect but with his size and ability to see the floor, he is a potential lottery pick.
Myck Kabongo, PG, Texas:
Kabongo wasn't particularly impressive in the skill drills and his weaknesses were evident. He's not much of a shooter and in the five-spot, around-the-arc drill, he shot horribly. Despite his size and athleticism, he's not much of a defender and in the limited reps he had guarding one-on-one against other point guards, he wasn't too stout. On one play, he was beat badly on a behind-the-back crossover for a basket by South Dakota's Nate Wolters, who is projected to go in the second round.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Georgia:
Like Paul George in the 2010 combine, Caldwell-Pope just looked like a prototypical shooting guard. On the surface, he fits the mold really well and when you look at his skills, it's transparent why. At Georgia, he was asked to do a lot and might have been stretched a little thin. But he is a good scorer and his one special skill that will translate well to the next level is his shooting. In the shooting drills, the ball came out of his hands quick and smooth, even after extending his range to the NBA 3-point line. It's hard to think he won't make an impact in the league.
Giannis Antetokoump, SF, Greece:
There's a lot of mystery surrounding Antetokoump and we were no closer to learning any more about him with him sitting out both days of testing, due to the promise he reportedly received. He's never played in the United States and was on a second-division Greek team, so we don't really know how good he is.
Deshaun Thomas, SF, Ohio State:
Jared Sullinger had a very productive career at Ohio State and did well in his shortened rookie reason. Is Thomas capable of doing the same? He was a very good and experienced scorer with the Buckeyes but he is the definition of a tweener. He was able to post up smaller players in college but his game and size translate to him being a small forward. His ability to shoot the ball bodes well for him at the next level, but as he showed at the combine, his shot takes time to get off and it's still a question whether he can extend his range to the NBA 3-point line. As good of a shooter as he is, his ability to adjust will be the key to him doing well as a pro.
Tony Mitchell, PF, North Texas:
He was easily the best power forward at the combine, performing well in both the basketball and athletic drills. He ran the floor extremely well and finished with power at the rim. At one point, he put down a windmill dunk running end-to-end while his counterparts were barely getting the ball over the rim on their finishes. Like Thomas, he's a little bit of a tweener, but plays like a power forward. However, he measured at only 6'7.5 without shoes. In all of the other testing though, Mitchell wowed. His wingspan to height ratio was one of the highest at the combine, just behind Schroeder's. He also led all frontcourt players with a 38-inch max vertical.
Jeff Withey, C, Kansas:
Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville:
These two have been compared a lot heading into the draft. Both are defensive-minded and have similar attributes that are appealing to teams looking to draft a big man. So it's no wonder that both had relatively similar measurements. Withey came out an inch taller than Dieng, while the national champion recorded an inch longer wingspan.
Rudy Gobert, C, France:
Gobert is another international player, meaning that any looks we get at him are likely to be our first. He appeared very slender and lanky, which could be a problem if he's used as a center in the league. His length and wingspan could compensate for his build, but he might be better served as a stretch-four going forward. The good news is that he showed a better shooting touch than expected and did well in the mid-range shooting drill. On Friday, he tested at 7'8.5 in wingspan, topping JaVale McGee for the record for the largest mark.
In the wind sprints, however, which all the players went through with their position after the skill drills, Gobert came last in every heat. That could point to him being out of shape or just his lack of speed running the floor, neither of which are a good sign. Not to say wind sprints are a big determinant of a player's future in the NBA, but with the little we and the people actually making the decisions in the draft get to see, everything counts.
Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh:
As mentioned before, looking the part of a position can be a big boost to a player's draft stock and that's exactly what Adams had going for him at the combine. His size, both his height and build, looked like that of a center in the NBA. Like Gobert, he also displayed a better shot than expected, but unlike the France product, Adams led in almost every wind sprint. ESPN's Jay Williams went so far as to point out that he looked in better shape than many of his peers. The concern with Adams, however, is that workouts alone won't be enough to judge him as a player. He is less than two years removed from playing in New Zealand so he's still raw and the learning curve won't be as apparent in drills as it will be in game action.
Kelly Olynyk, C, Gonzaga:
As expected, he was one of the most skilled big men at the combine. He looked very comfortable working out of the pick-and-roll and scoring in the low post with his array of crafty moves. He definitely has a knack for scoring, but his lack of explosiveness at a position that's getting smaller, quicker and more athletic is a concern. He also had the unfortunate honor of being the No. 1 player in the Alligator Arm Index, having the worst height-to-wingspan ratio of anyone at the combine.