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NBA Draft Combine Day 1: Not a good day for Shabazz Muhammad

May 16, 2013, 9:16 PM EDT

UCLA v Arizona State Getty Images

Thursday and Friday in Chicago is the NBA Draft Combine, where 60 invited players — guys likely or at least in the mix to be drafted — get measured, tested, go through interviews with teams, and occasionally run drills.

It’s a place where a guy can get noticed, although mostly it is just part of a broader picture for teams. Still, every team is there measuring and interviewing guys. Here are some notes out of the first day from watching the television broadcast, as well as tweets from Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress and others.

• Give UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad credit: While most of the lottery picks choose not to play he wanted to go out there and compete. But he’s already slid down draft boards and he didn’t help himself on Thursday.

How bad was it for Muhammad? A number of NBA decision makers told Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com he could fall out of the lottery all together. This for a guy who one year ago was Top 3 on everyone’s board.

• One of the overseas player invited — Dennis Schroeder, a point guard out of Germany — was in the building but didn’t go through drills, claiming a toothache. Chad Ford of ESPN said the toothache is actually a promise from a team in the middle of the first round do take him. DraftExpress had him No. 16 on their prospect list, so that sounds about right.

• Likely Top 5 pick Anthony Bennett of UNLV did not attend the combine as he had rotator cuff surgery on Wednesday. This is not expected to be a long-term issue, but he will not be working out for teams.

• Guy who turned heads? Rudy Gobert, a center from France. According to Chad Ford he officially measured 7’2” in shoes with a combine-best (and flat out ridiculous) 7-8 1/2 wingspan and a 9-7 standing reach. He was impressive in the drills.

• DraftExpress has Gobert at No. 11, but this kind of performance and measurement may have him moving up.

• Louisville’s rim-protecting center Gorgui Dieng had the second biggest measurements at the combine. However, he was in a walking boot for a sprained ankle and is not participating in drills.

Chad Ford said Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo got a promise near the end of the first round.

• Kansas’ Ben McLemore measured on the short side — 6’4.75″ in shoes. Good wingspan, but that number doesn’t help his cause.

  1. melkipershero - May 16, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    6’4 is good enough for a SG.

    • skinsfanwill - May 17, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      That was in shoes.

      • jeremyhurst - May 17, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        You might not be aware of this, so let me fill you in.

        They don’t play barefoot.

  2. Matt Thomas - May 16, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Any word on how Tony Snell from UNM did? Was he present for workouts?

  3. bifford - May 17, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    It’s funny that critics constantly knock McLemore for not being aggressive enough, then knock Muhammad for not being passive enough.

    If these “experts” were so amazing a projecting players, Andre Drummond wouldn’t have ever slid to the ninth pick last year.

  4. jayquintana - May 17, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    I had no idea the NBA had a combine. I have a very good idea that it’ll be just as effective (or non-effective) as the NFL combine.

  5. Mr. Wright 212 - May 17, 2013 at 3:23 AM

    He’s really just not that special. He has athleticism, yes, but he has H. Miner written all over him. Stacey Augmon at best, unless he really works with the right coaches to develop his game. You just can’t get too hyped up about players coming out of high school (he did nothing special at UCLA) unless they just exhibit some ridiculous physical ability like LeBron did in his senior year of high school, or clearly be a man amongst boys like Durant was at Texas. A lot of these run-of-the-mill 6’4″-6’7″ guys who don’t excel at any one thing are either decade-long “potential” guys like Anthony Randolph (bust now), or get pushed into role player/specialist category, where they either sell out defensively and do nothing offensively, or become spot up shooters and just decent enough on the other end to have him out there at times with the game on the line (sort of like Robert Horry). But a lot of these guys that everyone was touting as this, that and the third in the past 4-5 years are nothing but role players in the NBA. No bona fide franchise players.

    As of now, only Noel looks like a clear future star. There may be 3 or 4 who turn out to be pretty decent, but for the most part, very few of them are worth all the hype. Including Muhammad.

  6. hbdbrowns33 - May 17, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    If I were the Cavs I would try and take Otto Porter at 2 or 3 (Depending on the draft lottery right now they are 3) and then Trade their 19, 31, and 33 picks and maybe a future number one to take Gobert. He could be the next Tyson Chandler and just about every team could use a great rim protector.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - May 17, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      Otto is LEGIT.

  7. rohlo - May 17, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    shabazz is a fraud!!! guy was nothing special at UCLA its a no wonder he was much more dominat being a bit older than the high school prep kids.. he was a wannabe lebron and he is being exposed for what he is,an average NBA prospect! middle of the road nab player! mark it down! if that!!

  8. rohlo - May 17, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    even though he snt at the combine due to injury, dont sleep on gaurd jamaal franklin out of san diego state!!

  9. pukpokito - May 18, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    Paging Danny Ainge..Gobert is a legit center.you need him.

    • Kurt Helin - May 18, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      He is not going to be around when the Celtics pick.

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