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NBA League Office: Draft Combine Measurements “Under Review”

NBA League Office: Draft Combine Measurements “Under Review”
May 21, 2016, 11:56 am
Many eyebrows were raised when the NBA dispersed the official measurements collected at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago last week.

As we noted in our analysis of the measurements, there were significant concerns surrounding the validity of the standing reach measurements in particular. When the numbers were distributed, it was very clear that the standing reaches listed were significantly different than those measured for the same players in previous settings, although some looked to be accurate.

For example:

Isaiah Cousins: -7 inches from Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in April of 2016
Dorian Finney-Smith: -7 inches from Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in April of 2016
Elgin Cook -4 ½ inches from the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in April of 2016
Taurean Prince: -4 ½ inches from both USA Basketball and Baylor measurements
Nigel Hayes: -4 ½ inches from USA Basketball
Malcolm Brogdon: -4 inches from USA Basketball
Stephen Zimmerman -4 to 4 ½ inches from USA Basketball and Nike Hoop Summit measurements
Jaylen Brown: -3 inches from Nike Hoop Summit
Demetrius Jackson -3 inches from Nike Hoop Summit
Skal Labissiere: -2 ½ to 3 inches from Nike Hoop Summit and Kentucky measurements
Ron Baker: -2 ½ inches from USA Basketball
Robert Carter: -2 ½ inches from USA Basketball
Cheick Diallo: -2 ½ inches from Nike Hoop Summit
Zhou Qi: -2 inches from 2015 Nike Hoop Summit

Making things even more challenging is the fact that many players (around half of those at the Combine) were having their standing reaches measured publicly for the very first time, giving us nothing to compare their reaches against to see if they were accurate or not. Teams that have worked out some of those exact players already this spring confirmed to us that their own figures conclude that something was very off about the Chicago Combine standing reach measurements.

For example:

Jakob Poeltl measured a 8'9 ½ standing reach, which is very small for someone standing over 7-feet tall barefoot, with a 7'3 wingspan.
Melo Trimble measured a 7'8 ½ standing reach, which is very small for someone standing over 6'1 barefoot.
Kay Felder measured a 7'4 ½ standing reach, which is very small for someone with a 6'2 ½ wingspan.
Kyle Wiltjer measured a 8'6 ½ standing reach, which is very small for someone standing almost 6'9 barefoot, with a 7'0 ¼ wingspan.

Since a player's standing reach plays an essential part of the vertical leap testing, those figures have generally been discarded by NBA teams as well we've been told, as they consider this to be tainted data.

Luckily for hardcore Draft fans and NBA team representatives, the league office is taking this matter very seriously. After some back and forth since the NBA Combine, we received the following memo yesterday, which was also dispersed to all 30 teams:

“Please note that there were variances with the standing reach measurements for several players in comparison to prior recorded measurements. As a result, the unofficial anthropometric measurements and strength and agility testing results (currently available on nba.com) are under review. The official measurements and testing results will be released as soon as the internal review is complete.”

This review will reportedly take 10-14 days, after which the official NBA Combine measurements will be dispersed. In the meantime, we are removing all standing reach and vertical leap data from the 2016 NBA Combine from our database.

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