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OutletPass
06-09-2003, 10:55 AM
Tale of the tape is revealing
By Chad Ford
NBA Insider
Send an Email to Chad Ford Monday, June 9
Updated: June 9
11:14 AM ET


The climax of the Chicago pre-draft camp doesn't take place on the court. Rather, one of the last and most intriguing sessions takes place in a small back room of the Moody Bible College.


There, top prospects are measured, weighed and put through a series of strength and agility tests on Friday and Saturday. While some GMs scoff at the tests, others think they play a key part in getting a player drafted. The biggest thing scouts are looking at is wingspan. If a player has a long wingspan, it allows him to play bigger than he really is.

The official combine results are not released by the NBA. However, sources inside the workouts told Insider on Saturday about several big surprises.

On the measurement front
The biggest surprise was that T. J. Ford measured 6-foot- with shoes on. That's considerably taller than the 5-foot-9 at which many had him pegged.

Carmelo Anthony measured just 6-7 with shoes. He was 6-6 without them. He does have a nice, 7-foot wingspan. Also a few teams questioned his weight. He weighed 234 in Chicago, about 14 pounds above his listed playing weight of 220 at Syracuse.

Chris Bosh also measured on the tall side at 6-foot-11 with shoes. He weighed in at 225, about 15 pounds heavier than his playing weight. Bosh's 7-3 wingspan also helped him.

David West got a big bump in his stock when he measured 6-8 without shoes and 6-9 with. Combine that with a 7-4 wingspan, and West's stock could really move up the charts.

Josh Howard and Dwyane Wade impressed everyone with great wingspan measurement. Howard measured 6-foot-6 with shoes but recorded an amazing 7-foot-2 wingspan. Wade measured 6-foot-4 with shoes and had a 6-foot-10 wingspan.

Mike Sweetney also helped himself. For big men, teams look at standing reach. Despite measuring just 6-foot-8 with shoes, Sweetney's standing reach was just a hair under nine feet. That puts him in the same category with Bosh. In other words, like Elton Brand, Sweetney will be able to play "taller" than he actually is.

Chris Kaman measured 7- with shoes, but his smallish wingspan 6-11 may hurt him a bit.

Pavel Podkozline's official measurements were 7-foot-5, 303 pounds with shoes. His standing reach was 9-8.

Darko Milicic's 7-foot-5 wing span (he measured 7- with shoes) was second only to Chris Marcus, who had a shocking 7-foot-8 span.

Strength matters
Each player is tested to see how many time he can bench press 185 pounds. San Diego's Jason Keep shattered the record this year, lifting the bar 27 times.

BYU's Travis Hansen also shocked many observers when he benched the bar 17 times. Hansen was the real star of the combine. He also recorded a 38-inch vertical jump and set a Chicago record in a cone drill that gauges lateral quickness.

Milicic got the bar up 14 times, a very impressive number for a big man. The longer your arms, the longer distance you have to lift the bar.

Anthony did eight reps. But the big surprise was Nick Collison, who managed to lift the bar only four times, according to sources. That will hurt his stock come draft day. Many teams have him pegged as a tough low post guy. The lack of strength will hurt him at the next level.

Ford was, according to sources the only player unable to bench press 185 even one time. Teams knew he wasn't very strong, but only a handful of players in the last decade have been unable to lift the bar once.

More secret workouts
With all the stuff going on in Chicago, it's amazing teams had time to scout even more private workouts last week, but they did.

T. J. Ford held a private workout with the Raptors on Thursday afternoon. According to league sources, Ford blew them away with his improved shooting.

"He's really been working on it," one league source told Insider. "It made them much more comfortable with the idea of selecting him with the fourth pick."

The Raptors worked out Chris Kaman earlier in the week, and that one also impressed them. "I'm not sure where the stuff is coming from that he's not a good athlete," the same source told Insider. "He was very impressive. He shot the ball well, and his footwork looked great on the post."

To top things off, 7-0 Polish big man Maciej Lampe held a private audition for the Raptors and Heat at Hoops Gym on Saturday morning. Insider got exclusive access to watch the workout. Trainer Tim Grover ran the workout, with Heat coach Pat Riley, GM Randy Pfund and Raptors GM Glen Grunwald in attendance.

Lampe shot the ball well, showed his impressive ball-handling skills and ran the floor pretty well. Lampe lacks the explosive jumping ability of some of the other top prospects, but a report that he couldn't dunk the ball off one foot is ridiculous.

He went through a drill where he had to run to the free throw line, pick up the ball and dunk it 10 times. He didn't have a problem. Toward the end of the workout, Lampe did get winded, and he struggled to hit his NBA 3-pointers.

Lampe measured 7-feet with shoes and had a 7-foot wingspan.

After the workout, the feedback was very positive. Both teams liked his sweet shooting stroke, ball handling skills and general feel for the game. While neither team is expected to draft Lampe that high, source on both teams confirmed later they believe he's a lock for the mid to late lottery.

Draft rumors

Among the teams looking to move up? The Blazers, Grizzlies, Jazz and Suns have been the most active according to sources. The Nuggets, Suns and Mavs have been trying to acquire another pick, as well. Who's listening? The Raptors, Heat, Bucks, Knicks and Wizards all would move down, if they could get a solid veteran to help them win right away.

The word at the camp was that Brazilian big man Anderson Varejao will withdraw his name from the draft. Varejao's stock took a dive after limited playing time at the Euroleague final four. Playoff commitments to F.C. Barcelona kept Varejao from coming to the U.S. to work out.

Rumors that Pavel Podkolzine's workout on Friday was well choreographed to hide the player's lack of speed couldn't be further from the truth. Someone is talking the player down in hopes he slips in the draft. Pavel got off the plane from Italy on Thursday afternoon and arrived at Gold Coast Multiplex around 5 p.m. He met coach Billy Bayno for the first time there. Bayno ran him through drills, once, for about an hour, just to get a feel for what he could do. The workout on Friday was only the second time the two had ever met. Pavel ran the floor very well both days. How do I know? I was at both workouts and spent much of the evening with Pavel on Thursday. Teams that I talked to after the workout where shocked at how athletic he looked.

There's a rumor floating around that Zarko Cabarkapa got a promise from the Suns he'd be the No. 17 pick in the draft. This one is probably bogus. It started when Cabarkapa suddenly left the U.S., after only two workouts, to go home to Yugoslavia. Some teams assumed he quit working out because he cut a deal. Not true, according to Zarko's representatives and the Suns. Zarko's mother had a medical emergency, and he quickly flew back during the dead week of the Chicago camp to be with his mother. He'll be back in the U.S. early next week and begin working out again.

A similar rumor is floating around about Brazil's Leandrinho Barbosa, who canceled a workout claiming he had a pulled hip flexor. Several teams immediately assumed a team had locked him up. Again, untrue. Barbosa's agent, Michael Coyne told Insider the injury was real, and it is pretty much healed. He'll be back on the workout circuit again by midweek.

Lonely PSU Mavs Fan
06-09-2003, 11:36 AM
wow, Chris "T-Rex" Kaman has wingspan shorter than his height, are there any onther successful NBA players like this?

ps. thank alot for posting the insider OutletPass, i look for it everyday. I really appreciate it!

Bayliss
06-09-2003, 11:41 AM
Yao Ming has a wingspan of someone that is 7 foot and not 7'5".

Wingspans are great when you are a short player 6'-6'3" or you are a marginally tall player 6'6"-6'10" but for a 7' wingspan is not something that just drops your stock considerably because you already are taller than most plAYERS IN THE LEAGUE.

Wingspan is very similar to vertical leap. It helps marginal tall guys but it doesn't mean that much to centers.

OutletPass
06-09-2003, 11:49 AM
No problem PSU...it's sort of my "function" around here. I enjoy posting as much info as I can for everyone to see and discuss.

ariosto
06-09-2003, 11:56 AM
Thanks again for the usual great articles, OP. That's very interesting news about the Mavs moving up.

"San Diego's Jason Keep shattered the record this year, lifting the bar 27 times."

By the way, I think Jason Keep is probably totally without talent, and will not be drafted, but I really think we should try to sign him up for training camp. With his strength, he could be an improvement over Esch as an end-of-the-bench guy, and we could probably get him for the bare minimum salary.

COOLJAZZ
06-09-2003, 12:02 PM
OutletPass. I really must thank you for posting these articles. I miss the days of NBATALK.com when this info was free.

madape
06-09-2003, 12:14 PM
Forget Keep. Did I read that correctly? Does Hansen really have a 38 inch vertical leap? i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif

Record SHATTERING lateral quickness?!?? i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif

Daaaaaaamn. A guy THAT strong, THAT quick, who can jump THAT high?!? That's REDICULOUS. And the man has the skillzzzzz to compliment all his physical gifts. He can create his own shot off the dribble, grab the boards AND hit the three-pointer. If he can drop a 30 point, 17 rebound BOMB on a tournament team like he did last year against Pepperdine, then he can throw down 14 and 7 in the NBA EASILY. The Mavs said they want to improve their athleticism at the 2/3. Is there a man in this draft more athletic than Hansen? Last week... did I say "book it"? I think I did. But in case you missed it, I'll say it again. Hansen is a straight-up stud. BOOK IT!

Ummmmm Ok
06-09-2003, 12:25 PM
was waiting on the Ape's response as he was the one that predicted he would shine the most.

Good call on him Ape.

OutletPass
06-09-2003, 12:30 PM
Mad...pretty incredible stats for him, I agree...he's sitting at like #44 or somesuch on nbadraft.net; published AFTER the workouts.

Maybe someone will get a hell of a steal !

u2sarajevo
06-09-2003, 12:32 PM
Maybe that someone will be the Mavericks. Great article. Thanks OP!

Member
06-09-2003, 02:06 PM
The biggest surprise was that T. J. Ford measured 6-foot- with shoes on. That's considerably taller than the 5-foot-9 at which many had him pegged

T. J. Ford held a private workout with the Raptors on Thursday afternoon. According to league sources, Ford blew them away with his improved shooting.


i hope Ford has a lot of success in the NBA. 6 foot and 5-9 is a big difference

jayC
06-09-2003, 11:05 PM
Seriously 9 feet 8 inches is how high pavel can reach that dude is a monster.

Evilmav2
06-10-2003, 12:51 AM
Seriously 9 feet 8 inches is how high pavel can reach that dude is a monster

http://ak-sports.espn.go.com/f/1917/8668/6H/espn.go.com/media/insider/2003/0607/photo/e_pavel2_vt.jpg
Yup, Pavel certainly looks like a Monster to me...