Nets Draft Combine Preview - Part 1

For the second straight year, the Brooklyn Nets and the Houston Rockets are co-hosting a NBA Draft Combine for 44 draft-eligible players, and attended by all 30 NBA teams.  Players will be measured and skill-tested, but the big draw here is the players playing 5-on-5, something that the NBA Combine in Chicago has done away with.  Looking at the players attending, you have a solid mix of potential late-first round picks and some great 2nd round steals.Over the next 2 days, I will be previewing the Combine, looking at some potential match-ups of interest, and a brief look at what each player needs to show during the session to maximize their draft status.  Here is a look at the first 2 groups which are set to go on Saturday.  I will post the Sunday groups tomorrow.

SESSION #1 – Saturday, 5/19, 9:30 AM

Player

Position

Ht/Wt.

School

Thoughts/What they need to show 
 

Kim English

G

6’6/200

Missouri

Versatile on both ends – Needs to show ability to create own shot and attack the basket

Jorge Gutierrez

G

6’3/195

California

Understand position well, good decision-maker – Needs to show improved defense and consistent shooting

Tu Holloway

G

6’0/190

Xavier

Can score in a variety of ways and improved defender. Needs to show better control of the ball and shot selection

Mindaugas Kupsas

C

7’0/250

Lithuania

Needs to show strength on both ends as well as improved skill level on offense

Scott Machado

G

6’1/180

Iona

Great ability in the open floor and ability to get to basket.  Needs to show ability to run an offense and defend at top level

Cameron Moore

F

6’10/225

UAB

Great athleticism and nose for the ball. Shows constant improvement.  Needs to be fundamentally sound on both ends

Ricardo Ratliffe

F

6’8/240

Missouri

Strong and athletic, tough defender. Needs to develop offensive skillset

Rakim Sanders

G

6’5/228

Fairfield

Versatile offensive player, excellent rebounder for size. Needs to improve guarding the perimeter

Dominique Sutton

F

6’5/218

NC Central

Good athlete, strong rebounder – needs to show ability to shoot jumper consistently

Terrell Stoglin

G

6’1/185

Maryland

Ability to score in a variety of ways, improved defender. Needs to show ability to create for teams and run offense

Joston Thomas

F

6’7/235

Hawaii

Excellent athletic ability, NBA-ready body. Plays strong around the rim.  Needs to show ability to attack from wings and hit jumper as well as defend perimeter

 

Group Thoughts:  A good group to kick things off.  Kupsas gets lucky and doesn’t have battle against a legitimate big man.  Machado will have a good opportunity to show if his defense has improved if he goes up against Holloway or Stoglin.  Sanders, Sutton and Thomas all have the opportunity to show how effective they can be at their natural positions.  English will benefit anyone he is playing with and should be the highlight of this group.

 

SESSION #2 – Saturday, 5/19, 11:00 AM

Player

Position

Ht/Wt.

School

Thoughts/What they need to show 
 

Jon Dunn

G

6’3/200

Northwood
(NAIA) 

Good shooter and finds ways to get to basket. Needs to show that he can defend better on perimeter and be able to create and distribute.

Kyle Fogg

G

6’3/188

Arizona

Excellent catch and shoot player. Needs to show that he can create off the dribble and for teammates

Ashton Gibbs

G

6’2/180

Pittsburgh

Very good shooter, can get into lane. Needs to show ability to create for self and others

Drew Gordon

F

6’9/245

New Mexico

Strong, uses body well on both ends. Needs to show advanced offensive skills

Darius Johnson-Odom

G

6’2’/215

Marquette

Great scorer, tough defender.  Needs to show ability to play the point guard position.

Kevin Murphy

G

6’7/185

Tennessee Tech

Can shoot consistently from anywhere and can create own looks. Needs to show that he can defend stronger and quicker players on the perimeter.

Josh Owens

F

6’8/240

Stanford

Fundamentally sound, plays hard, effective around the rim. Needs to show better footwork on defense and ability to move offense out to at least 10 feet

Zack Rosen

G

6’1/175

Penn

Controls his team well, excellent court vision. Needs to be able to create own shots and keep guards out of lane on defense

Renardo Sidney

C

6’10/285

Mississippi St

Needs to show that he is finally ready to work to his potential.

Mitchell Watt

F

6’10/225

Buffalo

Good shot-blocker and improved offensive skills, including perimeter shooting.  Needs to show that he can defend stronger players in post, and be able to step out and guard perimeter

Wesley Witherspoon

F

6’9/207

Memphis

Athletic, can guard multiple positions. Needs to be aggressive on both ends and show a consistent shot

 

Group Thoughts:  1 true point guard and 3 guys who need to show that they have the ability to play the position well.  Advantage: Rosen.  On the other hand, Rosen will need to show that he could potentially guard someone like Johnson-Odom.   There are some excellent perimeter shooters in this group with Murphy, Johnson-Odom, Gibbs, Fogg and NAIA player Dunn.  Watt will get the chance to show if he can guard stronger players around the basket with the likes of Drew Gordon and Josh Owens here.  Wesley Witherspoon will be looking to show that the talent that made everyone pay attention 4 years ago is still in him.  And of course, we just hope Renardo Sidney shows up ready to play hard.  Murphy can solidify his spot in the upcoming draft here, and Johnson-Odom and Rosen can draw even bigger interest than before from the 30 NBA teams.

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