We're back with a brand new live blog for Day 2 of the Draft Combine. Last year, Day 2 had drills on one side of the building and agility testing on the other. It's a different location this year that seems to have way more court space, so who knows what we'll get today. What we do know for sure is that there should be all sorts of foolishness to make jokes about, and that's what live blogs are really about, right?
8:50: Look, the post goes up before the combine starts, so I've got to come up with something for this space, right?
9:05: Jay Williams says that Shane Larkin told him that the NBA made Larkin "give blood" yesterday and Larkin felt lightheaded during drills. Ok, I can get behind drug screening at the combine, but that would be what, a vial's worth? It shouldn't have been anywhere near the amount drawn when you're donating blood, right?
9:13: The desk crew discusses Maryland's Alex Len. They say that Maryland didn't do a good job of getting him the ball on a regular basis and that Len had a tendency to disappear in games. These two things are connected, aren't they? I mean, I know a guy with Len's size should be able to affect the game on the defensive end, but there's at least some connection between "not enough touches" and "disappears in games," right?
9:17: Nerlens Noel is 6'11" and weighs 206 pounds. Whaaaaaaat?
9:43: Lots of drills for the centers. Lots of discussion of the various skill sets of the centers. Lots of discussion of the measurements taken yesterday of all the players. Kelly Olynyk is referred to as a T-Rex because he has a wingspan shorter than his height. Good news for Olynyk, though: He's good at basketball.
9:45: Making Tom Thibadeau laugh causes him to break out into coughing fits.
9:50: Chad Ford goes on an extended tear about how Dwight Howard and Kevin Durant looked terrible in pre-draft workouts. But Howard looked terrible more because he was trying to prove that he had a perimeter game. My head hurts just trying to think about that.
10:02: The desk crew looks at the highest vertical jumps at the combine since 2000, and Nate Robinson is the only significant NBA player in the top 5. They do mention that Darius Johnson-Odom had the best jump last year.
10:09: We're focusing VERRRRRY closely on standing vertical jumps for the centers. You can hear drills being performed elsewhere in the building, and based on what the desk crew said earlier, that group should be the shooting guards. This live blog focusing on the performance of noted shooting guard Vander Blue is struggling right now.
10:12: Jay Williams: "If you've got position for a rebound, standing vertical jump doesn't matter." Fran Fraschilla: "If you've got the lower body strength to not get pushed off your spot, standing vertical jump doesn't matter." Well, I sure am glad we're focusing on the standing vertical jump then.
10:35: Yeah, I was afraid of this happening. Agility drills are terribly dull to watch, and the desk crew doesn't have a lot interesting to say, much less to question or make fun of. The most interesting thing in the last 20 minutes was Chad Ford explaining that the NBA sorts the players into positions, which is why Kenny Kadji is with the centers instead of the power forwards.
10:44: Rudy Gobert has the worst max vertical jump of all of the centers, but he's got the biggest measured standing reach in combine history, so does it really matter how high he can jump? Probably not.
11:13: Vander seems super excited about his lane agility time. Jay Williams immediately brings up the issue of whether he should have left school. Fran Fraschilla says it's hard to assess the overall situation as to why he left school.
11:44: I'm a little behind the times due to a pause button, but Vander has the best lane agility time of all of the shooting guards at 10.4 seconds, 0.2 seconds better than the second place guy, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. That definitely explains the excited screaming by Blue when he was done.
11:48: Vander is tied for the fourth best max vertical jump amongst shooting guards with Tim Hardaway, Jr. at 37.5 inches. Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, and Brandon Paul came out better than them. Blue only has the 8th best standing vertical jump at 28 inches. For what it's worth, they've only put nine SGs up on the screen and Ricky Ledo was the only one behind Vander.
12:00: Scrolling across the bottom of the screen is ESPN collecting all of the 3/4 court sprint times. Vander has the second best time overall at 3.14 seconds. The list includes the centers as well, as Cody Zeller was in the top 10. The point guards and all of the forwards haven't gone at all yet, so we'll see what happens on that, but it's a good start.
12:03: Power forwards are starting their agility testing, which means the shooting guards are done, which means I go make a sandwich. But before I go, Blue is tied for the 5th best max vertical overall, but Tony Mitchell just went banana sandwich on the test, so Blue's probably outside the top 5 now.
12:20: For those of you anxiously waiting: ham, bacon, summer sausage, sharp cheddar, root beer barbecue sauce, wheat bread.
Vander Blue and Ricky Ledo on the floor wrestling for the ball. Competition much more intense today. #NBADraftCombine— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 17, 2013
That's from over an hour ago before Blue was doing the agility testing. Hat tip to Paint Touches for retweeting it.
12:26: Instead of showing power forward skills testing, we're watching a video package about Nerlens Noel's ACL rehab. This is actually more interesting than the testing, because we're seeing the rehab drills.
12:37: Fran Fraschilla just called Jimmy Butler "a good role player." I get that he's probably fifth on the pecking order in Chicago behind Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, and Luol Deng, but Jimmy's drawing the assignments of guarding Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James throughout the season and playing 40+ minutes a game in the playoffs. Pretty sure he's one step above "role player" at this point.
12:46: Andy Katz reports that Shabazz Muhammad has a hip injury and isn't participating in on court drills, but plans on doing the agility testing. Ryen Rusillo immediately asks if we should actually believe that. Dude was big on the whole "I want to compete here" thing yesterday, so I want to believe him.
Had a great day at the combine!— Fleo Blue (@Vander13lue) May 17, 2013
Can't really argue with a guy feeling good about what he did, right?
12:54: /shakes fist at Trevor Mbakwe //still bitter ///not sorry
12:55: As Trey Burke gets ready for his 3/4 court sprint, they discuss his lane agility time, which is 0.8 seconds slower than Vander Blue's. Hanging out in a nearby doorway is Fox 6's Tim Van Vooren.
1:01: Over to ESPN2 we go! And for the second day in a row, ESPNU is showing the McDonald's All American game instead of the fifth hour of the Combine. I don't get you, ESPN.
1:05: The point guard lane agility times are in, and Vander still has the best time out of anyone in the Combine, and he's still got the 2nd best 3/4 court sprint time, behind Caldwell-Pope and in front of Cody Zeller.
1:14: Hmm. Those rankings for Vander might still be subject to change, as they're showing Peyton Siva going through some testing.
1:22: How about some tweets from Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune?
Ex Marquette G Vander Blue wants NBA teams to know he wants to play PG.— Shannon Ryan (@sryantribune) May 17, 2013
That might really mean "willing to play whatever position you'll draft me to play," which is actually a good attitude to have. There's a lot of really great NBA point guards out there, though.
Blue sought advice from ex teammate and Bulls star Jimmy Butler. "’ If he really felt it wasn’t right for me he would have told me to stay."— Shannon Ryan (@sryantribune) May 17, 2013
Gonna be some frosty conversations between Buzz & Jimmy, I think...
1:32: ESPN puts up the modified lane agility times for all of the guards, and Vander has the best time for all of the guards by nearly two-tenths of a second over Isaiah Caanan. To clarify the difference between lane agility and modified lane agility, lane agility is where the player makes a full box around the outside of the lane and then goes back around the way he came. Modified lane agility is where the player stands in the middle, bounces to one side, then to the other side, and then finishes by heading to the first side. Two-tenths of a second in that drill is a LOOOOONG time.
1:48: We're down to the last 12 minutes of watching the small forwards going through agility drills. C.J. Leslie has surpassed Vander's lane agility drill time. We're going to wrap this live blog up here. I don't know how fast any of the combine's activities will start affecting how people are looking at Vander and his draft prospects, but we'll keep an eye on it as we get closer to Draft Day! Thanks for reading!