Pelicans at the Combine

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis is not impressed. Not. Impressed.

[Please note, much of this is written with tongue firmly planted in cheek. You have been warned.]

The safe bet is that the Pelicans will not have a draft pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. During Thursday and Friday while Draft Express and Chad Ford were running on hyperdrive that was probably disappointing. Wouldn't it be nice to fawn over simple measurements and then project wildly how well that player would do at the next level simply based on how long their arms are or how high they can jump? Well...

now you can!

Thanks to Draft Express keeping an incredible database of player measurements I can go through and pick out all the current Pelicans (except Ryan Anderson). As you will see, they fare quite well against any players hyped by Chad Ford and crew this year. For this exercise I am going to have a number of tables. First, the Pelicans roster.

Pelicans at Combine

Year Height w/o Shoes Height w/ Shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Max Vert
Alexis Ajinca 2007 N/A 7'0.75" 207 7'8.75" 9'4" N/A
Jeff Withey 2013 6'10.75" 7'0.5" 222 7'2" 9'2.5" 29.0"
Jason Smith 2007 6'10.75" 6'11.5" 233 6'10.75" 8'10" 37.5"
Anthony Davis 2012 6'9.25" 6'10.5" 222 7'5.5" 9'0" N/A
Luke Babbitt 2010 6'7.5" 6'8.75" 218 6'11.25" 8'8.5" 37.5"
Al-Farouq Aminu 2010 6'7.25" 6'8.5" 216 7'3.25" 9'0.5" 33.5"
Darius Miller 2012 6'6" 6'7.5" 233 6'9" 8'5" 37.0"
Anthony Morrow 2008 6'5.5" 6'6.5" 207 6'10.5" N/A N/A
Tyreke Evans 2009 6'4" 6'5.25" 221 6'11.25" 8'8" 34.0"
Austin Rivers 2012 6'3.5" 6'5" 203 6'7.25" 8'0.5" 37.5"
Jrue Holiday 2009 6'3.25" 6'4.25" 199 6'7" 8'4.5" 34.0"
Eric Gordon 2008 6'2" 6'3.25" 222 6'9" 8'3" 40.0"
Brian Roberts 2008 6'0.25" 6'1.25" 173 6'1.25" 7'11" 36.5"
Pierre Jackson 2013 5'9.5" 5'10.5" 176 5'10" 7'6" 42.5"

Holy length Batman! Al-Farouq Aminu's 7'3.25" wingspan would be the 6th best this year at the combine, with only centers and power forwards besting him. Both Anthony Davis and Alexis Ajinca lap the field in wingspan. In terms of standing reach, 13 players at the NBA Combine this year equal or exceed 8'10". Five Pelicans reach that number. It is not just length though. Six different Pelicans recorded a maximum vertical of 37.0" or better. Just seventeen total participants at the NBA Combine did.

Next, let's take a dive into the projected lottery picks (from the Draft Express Mock Draft) and how they fared at the combine.

Lottery at Combine

Year Height w/o Shoes Height w/ Shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Max Vert
Noah Vonleh 2014 6'8" 6'9.5" 247 7'4.25" 9'0" 37.0"
Julius Randle 2014 6'7.75" 6'9" 250 7'0" 8.95" 35.5"
Aaron Gordon 2014 6'7.5" 6'8.75" 220 6'11.75" 8'9" 39.0"
Doug McDermott 2014 6'6.25" 6'7.75" 218 6'9.25" 8'7" 36.5"
Nik Sauskas 2014 6'5.25" 6'6.5" 207 6'7.75" 8'6" 35.5"
Dante Exum 2014 6'4.5" 6'6" 196 6'9.5" 8'7" 34.5"
Gary Harris 2014 6'2.5" 6'4.5" 205 6'6.75" 8'0" N/A
Marcus Smart 2014 6'2" 6'3.25" 227 6'9.25" 8'3" 36.0"
Tyler Ennis 2014 6'1" 6'2.5" 182 6'7.25" 8'2" 36.0"

You may find this group a bit, lacking, shall we say it. I know, the top picks (Wiggins, Parker, Embiid) were not there. Of course, if the Pelicans have their first round pick they will select top three. If they do not have their pick, this is the selection Philadelphia will be choosing from. Underwhelming, yes? Luke Babbitt is both longer and a higher leaper than McDermott, for instance. In fact, Babbitt compares most closely to Aaron Gordon, whose "explosive athleticism" has everyone drooling in the mid-to-late lottery. Luke Babbitt!

Next, I want to take a look at four different second round targets. Two, Patric Young and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the Pelicans were reported as interviewing at the combine. The other two, Melvin Ejim and LaQuinton Ross, are potential SF targets who can shoot whom I believe the Pelicans should consider if they can purchase or trade for a second round pick.

Second Round Targets

Year Height w/o Shoes Height w/ Shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Max Vert
Patric Young 2014 6'8.25" 6'10" 247 7'1.75" 8'7.5" 37.5"
LaQuinton Ross 2014 6'6.5" 6'7.5" 239 7'1.75" 8'10" 31.0"
Thanasis Antetokounmpo 2014 6'5.25" 6'6.25" 205 7'0" 8'8.5" 39.5"
Melvin Ejim 2014 6'5.25" 6'7" 219 6'11.25" 8'7.5" 35.0"

That's better, right?  Every player listed here but Young is a projected SF. Ejim is my preferred target, a look at his stats for his career should tell the story why.  Specifically, he can shoot the three ball (34.7% from three over the last two seasons, 73.3% from the free throw line) and has already been taught how to avoid inefficient shots.

Ejim scored 48 points earlier this season in a game where he only attempted five shots outside the paint. He’ll attempt baseline jumper from time-to-time, and he loves the right-wing three, but he is by far most effective around the basket.

For reasons I do not completely understand, Ejim is currently not projected to be drafted at all. Hopefully the Pelicans can snag a mid-to-late second round pick and give Ejim a shot.

Finally, one much smaller chart. These two names are going to be very familiar if you have read anything by me on this site over the last month.

Monroe and Sanders

Year Height w/o Shoes Height w/ Shoes Weight Wingspan Standing Reach Max Vert
Greg Monroe 2010 6'9.75" 6'11" 247 7'2.25" 9'0.5" 29.0"
Larry Sanders 2010 6'9.25" 6'10.5" 222 7'5.75" 9'4" 28.0"

There you have it folks. The "deepest draft" in years is a little short on length. The most explosive athlete is comparable to Luke Babbitt. The 2014 NBA Draft ladies and gentlemen.

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