NBA Draft Combine news, notes and quotes

Wisconsin big man Nigel Hayes prepares to jump at the NBA Draft Combine.

Not all of the big names are attending the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago this week, but there is still plenty to see.

Among those who looked particularly good in the first day of scrimmages:

Duke’s Frank Jackson, Utah’s Kyle Kuzma, Colorado’s Derrick White, Arizona’s Rawle Alkins and Oregon’s Jordan Bell.

As Sports Illustrated noted: “Jackson was a catalyst with his slithery handle, change of speeds and ability to attack the basket, and he measured out well for a point guard at 6’2″ with a 6′ 7.5″ wingspan.”

According to Yahoo Sports, Jackson will remain in the draft and hire an agent.

Also, The Devil’s Den wrote that Jackson’s performance in the five-on-five portion of the combine “certainly turned some heads.”

The website added: “That won’t be enough to ensure he gets selected in the first round of the June 22nd draft, but his full body of work has a number of teams interested. During the two-day combine, Jackson is expected to meet with 12 teams for interviews.”

Meanwhile, on Kuzma, SI wrote: “He can shoot the lights out, put the ball on the floor, and looks justified staying in the draft at this stage.”

On White: “He posted the day’s top time in the three-quarter court sprint, second-best time in the shuttle run and added a solid 36.5-inch max vertical. He’s excellent at changing speeds, played aggressive defense and was generally hard to ignore any time he took the court.”

On Alkins: “His  decision-making, ability to attack the rim and potential to develop into a very good shooter stood out in the combine environment. He’s built some buzz around the league and presently sits in late first round conversations for some teams.”

And finally, on Bell: “Though certainly undersized to play the post, Bell’s nearly 7-foot wingspan and  elite quickness and explosion will give him a chance to stick as a defensive specialist.”

Sports Illustrated added that Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox “officially measured with a 6’6” wingspan, which should put to bed any questions about his physical tools.” (Full SI report.)


Finally, here is an interview with Villanova guard and draft prospect Josh Hart:

During the interview, Hart talks about being one of the rare seniors in attendance, and says he has not yet heard from the Philadelphia 76ers, and isn’t sure they’re interested.

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