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2016 NBA Draft: Measurements and stats of key frontcourt draft prospects

Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram stand tall at the head of the class. Many 2016 prospects measure up well, but what about their performances on the floor?

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Buddy Hield is the last projected lottery pick standing. As such we can begin to truly compare the season performances of all of the collegiate players projected within (and on the fringes of) the NBA lottery. This is the second of two posts, the first covered guards and can be found here.

There are two groups of information I think are important to provide in a "one stop shop." First up, how tall and long each player is, and secondly, their statistical production in the most recent season. Every player we are comparing played in a "big" conference (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, SEC, Big XII, or Pac-12), and while there is quite a bit of difference between conferences, it is not nearly as great as if there was a small conference player to muck things up even further.

To begin, let's look at how every collegiate wing or big man projected to go within the first 17 picks measures up, quite literally. These measurements were taken at a variety of locations, so there is reason to question their absolute accuracy. Thankfully the NBA combine, scheduled to take place between May 11th and 15th, should give a far more consistent database of information. For now, we have a variety of measurements from USA Basketball, Nike camps, and the Hoops Summit to tie us over.

Measuring Up

Height Wingspan Standing Reach
Average NBA SF 6'7.7" 6'10.9" 8'8.2"
Jaylen Brown 6'6.5" 7'0.5" 8'9"
Marquese Chriss 6'8.75" 7'0" 8'9"
Average NBA PF 6'9.4" 7'1.2" 8'11"
Domantas Sabonis 6'10" 6'10.5" N/A
Deyonta Davis 6'9.5" 7'1.5" N/A
Ivan Rabb 6'9.75" 7'2" 9'0"
Henry Ellenson 6'10" 7'1.5" 9'0"
Skal Labissiere 6'11.5" 7'2" 9'0"
Ben Simmons 6'10" 7'0.25" 9'0.5"
Brandon Ingram 6'9.5" 7'3" 9'1.5"
Jakob Poeltl 7'1" 7'1" N/A
Average NBA C 6'11.2" 7'3.0" 9'1.6"

Player measurements from Draft Express. Average size thanks to this superb Nylon Calculus article.

Brandon Ingram is enormous for his projected position while Marquese Chriss, who is projected to be a power forward, is on the small side. Ben Simmons is large enough to play power forward, and for the Pelicans would slot best there, but then the hole at small forward would continue to linger. I don't think New Orleans would be well-served to select any of the other big men. The needs on the wings are too great and investing even more assets into a player who plays the same position as Anthony Davis is problematic in my mind. Ben Simmons is the lone exception.

Statistical Overload

Age PER TS% FG% @ Rim FG% Jumper FT% TRB% AST% TOV%
Ben Simmons 19.6 29.0 60.0% 75.2% 32.9% 67.0% 18.2% 27.4% 17.4%
Brandon Ingram 18.5 22.5 55.2% 58.8% 37.6% 68.2% 10.8% 11.4% 11.3%
Jaylen Brown 19.4 17.6 51.8% 61.6% 30.1% 65.4% 10.8% 15.3% 17.9%
Jakob Poeltl 20.4 31.1 66.6% 69.3% 37.7% 69.2% 17.4% 13.9% 13.7%
Henry Ellenson 19.2 20.9 53.4% 62.8% 42.7% 74.9% 16.5% 11.0% 12.9%
Skal Labissiere 20.0 18.5 54.0% 67.3% 45.9% 66.1% 11.1% 3.6% 13.1%
Deyonta Davis 19.3 23.9 60.1% 71.3% 41.6% 60.5% 19.0% 7.5% 12.1%
Ivan Rabb 19.1 24.2 63.6% 80.2% 42.0% 66.9% 16.5% 6.6% 13.4%
Marquese Chriss 18.7 21.7 58.5% 68.5% 43.9% 68.5% 10.7% 6.3% 14.7%
Domantas Sabonis 20.0 29.3 65.4% 71.9% 47.7% 76.9% 20.7% 11.3% 16.0%

Stats from Sports Reference and Hoop Math.

On this chart, I removed 3-point shooting percentages because many of the players have not attempted many. Ingram (41% on 195 attempts), Chriss (35% on 60 attempts), Jaylen Brown (29.4% on 102 attempts), and Ellenson (28.8% on 104 attempts) are the only players with a significant sample size. This board is in the same order as the most recent Draft Express mock draft with one notable exception: Ben Simmons is first.

I don't read too much into the increased turnover rates for Simmons and Brown; they actually had to create on their teams and that increases risk. Their ability to shoot, on the other hand, is a worry. One player that jumps out at me is Brandon Ingram. For being a good 3-point shooter, he was not very good inside the arc or at the foul line. Even more problematic, he was awful at the rim despite having far more talent around him than any of the other players listed here. His age only accounts for so much; compare his performance to Marquese Chriss for instance.

Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram are one-two in my book for the Pelicans. If New Orleans happens to trade down, one target I would be very interested in is Marquese Chriss if he is willing and able to play small forward. His shooting touch at such a young age is very intriguing and I think there is some serious upside there.