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NBA Draft Combine: 3 takeaways for Mavericks fans from the first testing day

The Combine is going full speed in Chicago, and the Mavericks have plenty of players to scout and meet with.

2018 NBA Draft Combine - Day 1 Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The first day of the Combine has become a bit of an event online. Reporters on site tweet out measurements as they happen and it’s an alarming amount of fun to see the physical measurements for the players along with the reactions from everyone else.

The Combine rarely changes much; usually it puts to paper the things analysts have been seeing all year. There are always some risers and fallers, but realistically the Combine is the second major step after the Lottery in the long march to the NBA draft.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the measurements from some of the players at the Combine the Mavericks might be interested in.

2018 NBA Combine Measurements

Mohamed Bamba C 6.20% 9.75" 10.25" 7' 0.75'' 9' 7.5'' 225.6 7' 10''
Jaren Jackson PF-C 7.20% 10" 10" 6' 11.25'' 9' 2'' 236 7' 5.25''
Michael Porter SF-PF 6.40% 8.75" 9.25" 6' 10.75'' 9' 0.5'' 211 7' 0.25''
Wendell Carter C-PF 7.85% 8.5" 9" 6' 10'' 9' 1'' 196.2 7' 4.5''
Jontay Porter C-PF 13.85% 8.75" 9.5" 6' 11.5'' 9' 1'' 236 7' 0.25''
Kostas Antetokounmpo PF 5.00% 9.25" 9.5" 6' 10.5'' 9' 2'' 194.8 7' 2.25''
Keita Bates-Diop SG-SF 5.35% 9" 8.5" 6' 8.5'' 8' 10.5'' 223.8 7' 3.25''
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk SG-SF 8.45% 8.25" 9.5" 6' 7.75'' 8' 4'' 211.6 6' 4.75''
Kevin Huerter SG 8.60% 8.25" 8.5" 6' 7.25'' 8' 5.5'' 194 6' 7.5''
Miles Bridges SF 5.90% 9" 9.75" 6' 6.75'' 8' 7.5'' 220.4 6' 9.5''
Melvin Frazier SF-SG 7.90% 9.5" 9.5" 6' 6'' 8' 9'' 198.2 7' 1.75''
Gary Trent SG 7.00% 8.5" 9.5" 6' 5.75'' 8' 2'' 204.2 6' 8.75''
Shake Milton SG-PG 6.80% 8.75" 9.5" 6' 5.5'' 8' 3.5'' 207.2 7' 0.75''
Bruce Brown SG-PG 3.75% 8.5" 8.5" 6' 5'' 8' 2.5'' 194.6 6' 9''
Josh Okogie SG 5.20% 9" 9.75" 6' 4.5'' 8' 6'' 210.8 7' 0''
Rawle Alkins SG 8.90% 8.5" 10" 6' 4.25'' 8' 3'' 217.4 6' 8.75''
Zhaire Smith SF-SG 6.05% 8.75" 8.25" 6' 4'' 8' 4'' 198.6 6' 9.75''
Khyri Thomas SG 6.40% 8.75" 9.25" 6' 3.75'' 8' 5'' 198.8 6' 10.5''
DeAnthony Melton SG-PG 5.20% 8.5" 9.5" 6' 3.25'' 8' 3.5'' 193.2 6' 8.5''

Because many at the top of the draft board only participate in the measurements portion of the Combine, or not at all, the rest of the week is really for players that want to solidify their spot in the draft or put themselves on the radar altogether. There was a ton of action Thursday, but here are a few stories we were tracking (check here for all up to date Combine stats).

Mo Bamba is a name we’ll start to hear more and more

No, you don’t need to get your eyes or brain checked. Mo Bamba is that tall and long. He actually was taller and longer than previously listed, and his 7 foot 10 inch wingspan is the longest recorded in the Combine database. Oft compared to Utah Jazz super-defender Rudy Gobert, Bamba’s measurables are actually closer than initially advertised. He’s just over an inch shorter than Gobert’s Combine listing, and an inch and a half longer.

The deeper the Mavericks get in to this process over the next four weeks, the more we’ll hear Bamba’s name linked to them. In his on air interview Thursday on ESPN2 from Chicago, Bamba talked about the last eight weeks and his pre-draft preparation, including his work with shooting coach Drew Hanlon — much of his focus has been on improving his shooting motion and all three levels of his offensive game. With so much more ground to cover it’s unclear the direction Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson will want to go. But expect them to walk away impressed by Bamba when they meet with him privately.

Wingspan and max vertical are impressive numbers generally

For draft nerds (you reading this, but really me, Jordan, writing this) the Combine is all about wingspan and max vertical. They usually feature the numbers that make you double take. Max Vertical Leap leaders on Thursday were Josh Okogie and Donte DiVincenzo, each posting a 42-inch vert. That’s no joke. Okogie in particular tested very well across the board. And DiVincenzo showed a lot of the same game he brought to the Final Four in April — he’s still technically testing the draft waters, but expect him to shoot up some draft boards.

Other notable names in the strength and agility testing were Zhaire Smith and Grayson Allen, both near the top of most agility tests. No one has moved up draft boards in 2018 quite like Smith (41.5 inch vert); and the divisive Allen (40.5 inch vert) has always been sneaky athletic. Two other players worth mentioning are Melvin Frazier and Kevin Huerter — guys that impressed scouts all day long, and who this event is perfect for. Often players from non-marquee schools get lost in the shuffle for scouts during the season, and for these guys to show up when the spotlight is on them bodes well. These are names worth tracking over the next several weeks as the Mavs make decisions about their early second round pick.

MPJ met with the Mavericks privately

Finally, the nearly 6 foot 11 inch elephant in the gym, Michael Porter Jr. went through measurements Thursday. He didn’t do any medical evaluations Wednesday (unsurprising) but did take the time to meet with the media, as well as private meetings with various teams. As reported by Eddie Sefko of Dallas Morning News, the Mavericks were one of those teams. Never one to lack confidence, Porter indicated he was healthy and that he also feels like he is the best player in this draft class. MPJ will most likely do very little the rest of the week publicly, continue to meet with teams one on one, and then prepare for private workouts over the next several weeks. His progress will consistently be one of the most interesting stories to follow.