May 11, 2016
On Wednesday, the NBA Combine got underway in Chicago with mostly medical tests, measurements, and interviews. I wasn’t there, but a whole bunch of other people were. These are their stories:
• The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey wrote about a subject that I find fascinating as June approaches, Bryan Colangelo’s level of preparedness for the draft. Basically, after being out of a job for so long, how does he fare after being asked to make a fairly quick transition? Colangelo has about 2.5 months to prepare for the draft after being named president of basketball operations, whereas lead decision makers around the NBA have spent all year preparing for the draft. Is Colangelo tasked with the equivalent of pulling an all-nighter before a final exam?
The 50-year-old executive doesn't think that's the case. Colangelo has spent a lot of time with the team’s scouting staff since being hired, which he says has helped supplement the knowledge he already had. We’ll see how he does.
• Also from Pompey:
Speaking of Brandon Ingram, SI’s Luke Winn wrote a visual piece on the Duke star that is very much worth your time (especially for the Robert Covington shoutout).
• 6’7” Turkish shooting guard Furkan Korkmaz (ESPN #15, DX #17) negotiated a $2 million buyout clause in his contract with his club team, Anadolu Efes. Here are some of the deets, per The Vertical’s Jonathan Givony:
If he’s unable to secure assurances that he’ll be selected in the lottery, it appears likely he will withdraw from the draft before the June 15 deadline and return to Turkey for another season, sources said. Korkmaz would then turn his attention to entering the 2017 draft.
An NBA team can contribute up to $650,000 this summer for a player picked in the first round with an international buyout, but league rules dictate that the difference must be paid out of the player's pocket.
The Sixers know a lot about dealing with buyouts and Anadolu Efes, because that is where Dario Saric has played the last two seasons. With two picks in the 20s, the Sixers might not be slotted high enough in the draft (from the standpoint of rookie wages) to potentially entice Korkmaz to stay in the draft and buy out the rest of his contract.
• Also in that post: Wayne Selden (DX #44, ESPN #68) won’t be participating in any on-court drills after recently having a small meniscus tear in his knee repaired. Miami’s Shelden McLellan (DX #62), who got bounced from the NCAA Tournament by Villanova one game before Selden, will take his place.
Unofficially, the top three 2016 combine heights (without shoes)— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) May 11, 2016
1. Zhou Qi - 7'1.25"
2. Jacob Poetl - 7'0.25"
3. Thon Maker - 6'11.75"
Kay Felder (5'8.25") + Tyler Ullis (5'8.75") are unofficially the only players under 6' (w/o shoes) at '16 combine. pic.twitter.com/3PQWKITf5e— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) May 11, 2016
• 6’6” Syracuse freshman Malachi Richardson (ESPN #20, DX #54) wasn’t required to participate in the 5-on-5 portion of the combine, according to Givony. That is a good sign for his draft prospects, as all players that the NBA considers as borderline first-round picks are required to play 5-on-5.
Could the Sixers be in the market for the Trenton native at the back end of the first round? Richardson helped lead Syracuse to a surprising Final Four run, but he only shot 39 percent from two-point range.
• Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield, who could be an option at 4 or 5 if the Lakers pick conveys, will only take part in interviews and medical testing today (including an interview with the Sixers), per Chad Ford. Hield will graduate this weekend.
Day 2 of the combine is tomorrow, and we will actually get to see some of the prospects on the court. In case you’re interested, ESPN2 will have coverage from 3 PM to 7 PM.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann