News, Notes from NBA Draft Combine: Michael Porter Jr. says he’s best player in draft

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The NBA Draft Combine is taking place in Chicago Thursday and Friday, where 70 potential future NBA players go through a series of tests for teams — height and wingspan measurements are taken, vertical leaps are tested, and a bunch of likely late first/second rounders play in some 5-on-5 scrimmages. The biggest things for teams are the player interviews, where they can sit down and get a sense of a guy they are considering investing millions in.

Here are some notes from Day 1 of the Combine:

• Before last season, Michael Porter Jr. was considered a likely top three pick in this draft. After a season with a back injury and whispers of a diva-like ego, his stock has fallen. He likely goes more in the 5-10 range (in the NBC Mock Draft we had him going ninth to the Knicks). Porter thinks much more highly of himself.

It’s going to be interesting to see where he lands. So much of that depends on the medical reports — big men with bad backs make teams nervous. For good reason. Also, teams will want to bring him in for workouts to see if he has regained the mobility he had before the injury. That said, he’s too talented to fall far, and teams in the top five are going to take a look at him.

As we noted early, Mohamed Bamba’s wingspan measured at 7-foot-10, which is the longest in NBA draft combine history.


For some context:

• Speaking of wingspan, SMU’s Shake Milton measured in at 7-0¾ — the best all-time for point guards. He measured 6’4.5″ in height. He could end up being a sneaky good late first-round pick.

• The Detroit Pistons are testing players’ game understanding by having them put on virtual reality goggles and be put into game situations.

• It’s only the first day of testing, a lot more guys to go, but the best vertical leap so far? Villanova’s hero from the championship game Donte DiVincenzo at 42.5. Here are some highlights from that event.

• The guy with the smallest hands at the combine? Jaylen Hands.

• If you want to see all the measurements and stats from the NBA Combine, they are right here.

• Interesting note from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

• There was a time not long ago when the NBA Combine was a relatively sleepy little event with just teams, players, and a handful of media. Like everything else NBA, it has blown up.