May 25, 2024

NBA Draft Combine Takes: Grading Top Bigs, KU’s Big Leaper, and the Bronny James Show | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 13: Donovan Clingan shoots the ball during the 2024 NBA Combine on May 13, 2024 at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images)

Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images

Rarely do scouts get a chance to watch projected top picks drill at the NBA Combine.

But the new CBA mandated universal participation, which created a unique scene under one basket with Donovan Clingan, Zach Edey and Alex Sarr competing in spot-up, dribble and movement shooting drills.

Clingan appeared noticeably comfortable, despite his eight three-point attempts this past season. The arc and rotation on his shot both look like they were delivered by a player who normally spends time around the perimeter. Executives came away impressed with the easy ball he shot, and it’s starting to feel there is legitimate hidden shooting range with Clingan that will suddenly become a factor during workouts and teams’ final assessments.

Even Zach Edey hit his fair share of threes and mid-range pull-ups, though the time it took for him to load up and release was expectedly slow. Realistically, NBA teams won’t be using him to stretch the floor anytime soon. But he does get bonus points just showing some level of capability with his outside shot, considering he took seven jumpers as a senior.

My current projected No. 1 overall pick, Sarr started off shaky before finding a rhythm and demonstrating his shotmaking versatility during movement and pull-up drills. His mechanics can be a little stiff or choppy, particularly when he’s just standing still. He seems more comfortable when he’s generating some type of momentum or movement into his shot.

Scouts don’t sound ready to call Sarr a shooter. But it’s rare to find a 7’1″, 18-year-old defensive ace who threatens from deep, and can also fade away from the post and step into a pull-up.