The 2019 NBA Draft Combine entered its second day in Chicago with many of the players in this year's class showcasing their skills for NBA coaches and front-office executives.
After the event opened Thursday, Friday was more of the same in the Windy City. Prospective rookies competed in various drills and scrimmages. Below is an overview of how the day unfolded.
Combine measurements are courtesy of NBA.com
On Thursday, UCF center Tacko Fall turned heads with the enormity of his frame. It's not as if Fall had suddenly grown to over seven feet tall overnight, but his measurements were still eye-popping when laid out and put into context.
Tacko Fall is a force of nature 😳 pic.twitter.com/JgHsotKcwI— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 17, 2019
Fall continued to impress Friday by maxing out at 26.5 inches on the vertical leap and completing the lane agility drill in 13.01 seconds.
I envisioned Tacko Fall completing the lane agility drill in 8 steps. Still not bad for a 7-6 guy. pic.twitter.com/EGSMkLL59x— Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) May 17, 2019
Fall averaged 11.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks as a senior for the Knights. While he clearly has the size to be an elite rim protector in the NBA, some will inevitably question whether he has the athleticism to adequately defend the paint.
According to Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo, Fall didn't have any problems in Chicago:
Game 2 underway. One of the more fascinating stories of the week has been everyone’s complete inability to score on, over or around Tacko Fall. And here we go again. pic.twitter.com/5asIbNQcW3— Jeremy Woo (@JeremyWoo) May 17, 2019
Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman tweeted the consensus around the combine was that Fall would be worth a flier in the middle of the second round.
Especially with some attendees skipping Friday's scrimmages, players on the fringe had the opportunity to catapult themselves up draft boards. Wasserman thought Miami forward Dewan Hernandez was one such player after he scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the first exhibition:
Miami’s Dewan Hernandez has been relatively dominant today, and arguably the most productive player all week from Elite Camp to the Combine. Making plays off good timing, high effort, body control. Just a tough, solid big man about to earn himself more looks over next few weeks.— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) May 17, 2019
Hernandez delivered one of Friday's most impressive shots, somehow laying it in while falling to the ground and drawing a foul.
The combine was particularly valuable for Hernandez, who didn't play in 2018-19 after the NCAA declared him ineligible after he was connected to the FBI's ongoing investigation into corruption in college basketball.
"This week has been very important," Hernandez said, per the Miami Herald's David Wilson. "These scouts haven’t seen me play in over a year, so I’m trying to go out here and showcase my best game."
Cody Martin, on the other hand, is largely a proven commodity after a five-year college career that took him from North Carolina State to Nevada. Martin teamed up with Hernandez for a victory in their scrimmage, finishing with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.
The Wolf Pack star also delivered a pair of thunderous dunks.
Before the combine started Friday, Grant Williams confirmed to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic that he intends to remain in the 2019 draft. Williams averaged 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists, though he shot just 32.6 percent from three-point territory.
Woo didn't think Williams drastically improved his draft stock at the combine:
Completely understand why Grant Williams is turning pro, but he’s struggled a bit at the combine. Not a first round lock. Intangibles matter, but think this week has raised more questions than answers, particularly how he scores efficiently at NBA level.— Jeremy Woo (@JeremyWoo) May 17, 2019
In his most recent mock draft, Wasserman projected Nebraska forward Isaiah Roby as the 29th overall pick. During Friday's scrimmage portion, Roby shot 7-of-15 en route to a 15-point, six-rebound effort in a 91-74 loss.
At the very least, the Cornhuskers star seemed to solidify his status as a late first or early second-round pick.
Roby from Nebraska is, um, better than he was at Nebraska. Attacks the rim hard, finishing over length.— James Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) May 17, 2019
Isaiah Roby has been markedly better today. Making better decisions with the ball, sprinting the floor, showcasing run-jump capabilities and defensive versatility. Good to see the aggressiveness.— Jeremy Woo (@JeremyWoo) May 17, 2019
Tremont Waters had a somewhat underwhelming sophomore season at LSU. He averaged 15.3 points but shot 32.7 percent on three-pointers—down from 35.1 percent in 2017-18—and saw his turnovers climb from 2.9 per game to 3.5.
Although a strong showing at the combine didn't address all of the concerns about his game, Waters made a strong case to be considered a second-round prospect. He scored 10 points while dishing out one assist in the day's first scrimmage.
Also think Tremont Waters is helping himself a bit here. Shoots it well, extremely tough defensively in spite of his size, and one of the few point guards at the combine actively looking to involve teammates. Was a huge part of LSU’s success this season.— Jeremy Woo (@JeremyWoo) May 17, 2019
Jalen McDaniels, Quinndary Weatherspoon and Tremont Waters all really impressing today. McDaniels looks much more active, knocked down an open 3 and a floater. Waters carving up the defense, dropping lefty dimes. Weatherspoon guarding and facilitating.— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) May 17, 2019
With the combine drawing to a close, draft hopefuls will count on individual workouts and interviews to address any lingering questions teams might have.
A little over a month remains before the NBA draft begins June 20.