Aaron Gordon, Dante Exum, Zach LaVine shine at NBA draft combine

Aaron Gordon, Dante Exum, Zach LaVine shine at NBA draft combine
Former Arizona standout Aaron Gordon takes part in the shuttle run at the NBA draft combine in Chicago last month. (Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press)

The Lakers eagerly anticipate the May 20 NBA draft lottery, with a 21.5% chance at a top-three pick.

On Friday, the NBA released stats from the draft combine in Chicago, giving a glimpse at some of the talent on the board.


Arizona forward Aaron Gordon put up impressive athletic numbers, leading all prospects with a 2.76 time in the "shuttle run" drill.

The shuttle run tests how fast a player moves when changing directions, timing a series of cuts through the key.

UCLA's Zach LaVine was a close second behind Gordon at 2.8 seconds.  Syracuse's Tyler Ennis came in third at 2.84 while Australian guard Dante Exum was seventh at 2.88.

LaVine's draft range is a mystery.  While he sputtered down the stretch of the season with the Bruins, his raw athleticism could entice a lottery team (top 14).

Exum projects to be a top-five pick; Gordon should go in the top 10, and Ennis could land in the top 15.

LaVine also came in first on the "lane agility drill," testing how quickly a player sprints, shuffles and backpedals around the key.  His time of 10.42 seconds edged out second-place Dante Exum's 10.75.

Nine of the top ten times in the drill nine were guards.  Gordon stood out as the only big man in the group (seventh) with a time of 10.81.

Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart was eighth overall, behind Gordon by a hundredth of a second (10.82).

Exum and LaVine came in at eighth and ninth in the three-quarter sprint at 3.19 seconds each.

LaVine's standing vertical leap, from a standing position, was 33.5 inches -- fourth overall behind Oklahoma State's Markel Brown and Michigan's Glen Robinson III's 36.5 inches.

Smart was in the top-10 at 33.0 inches, while Gordon came in 11th at 32.5 inches.

Continuing the trend, LaVine had the third-highest maximum vertical leap (41.5 inches), with players allowed to take a step into their jump.  Brown tied Arizona State's Jahii Carson on top of the list at 43.5 inches.  Gordon was ninth at 39.0 inches.

Top-10 hopefuls Julius Randle (Kentucky) and Noah Vonleh (Indiana) were present at the combine for measurements but chose not to participate in drills.  Andrew Wiggins (Kansas), Jabari Parker (Duke) and Joel Embiid (Kansas), expected to be the top three overall picks, skipped the combine altogether.

The Lakers are currently in the sixth position in the draft lottery, with a 30.5% chance of falling to seven, 4.0% to eight and 0.1% to nine.


If the Lakers don't climb, Gordon would be an interesting pick at six given his combination of size (6-8 3/4) and athleticism.  LaVine is still a bit raw as a player but he's clearly an NBA athlete.

Exum may not be available when the Lakers pick, unless he expectedly drops or the Lakers jump to top three.

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