Cowbell Kingdom Draft Profile: Kemba and Co.

Left - Kemba Walker, Right - Nikola Vucevic

For the third time this offseason, the Sacramento Kings conducted a six-man draft workout.  Today, UConn’s Kemba Walker headlined the group that included only one other prospect expected to go in the first round – Nikola Vucevic.  The curtain stayed down for all but ten minutes of the workout, leaving media wanting more.  But what we did see was not the most impressive offensive performance of Kemba Walker’s career.

Video interviews and analysis after the jump.

Guards

Kemba Walker – UConn

The high-scoring little man rescheduled his duel against Jimmer Fredette last week and instead went up against a bigger guard in Tulsa’s Justin Hurtt.  Although Walker had a few things to prove as both a distributor and defender, his scoring ability and leadership skills are top notch.  With Thornton, Evans and Udrih, the question as to whether Walker will fit the Kings as a bulk scorer who doesn’t exactly light it up from three point range, needs to be answered.

Measurements:

  • Height:  5′-11.5″ w/o shoes; 6′-1″ w/ shoes.
  • Weight:  184-pounds; 5.9% body fat.
  • Wingspan:  6′-3.5″
  • Standing Reach:  7′-7.5″

Testing:

  • Vertical:  32.0″ no step vert; 39.5″ max vert.
  • Strength: 7 reps on bench press (185-pounds).
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- 10.87 seconds; 3/4 court sprint- 3.16 seconds.

Thoughts on Kemba Walker:

Not the best workout we’ve seen out of a guard so far.  Walker struggled to keep the much bigger Justin Hurtt in front of him on defense and really never shook him on the offensive end either.  Walker did show a nice ability to distribute on the break, but his passing was over shadowed by big man Nikola Vucevic.  I would rate Walker as the third best guard the Kings have seen so far, behind both Brandon Knight and Jimmer Fredette.  However, what we saw was small and we are talking about three-on-three workouts.  Walker was a great interview, has played with Tyreke Evans in the AAU Circuit and his leadership skills are coveted so he may still be in play if available at no. 7.  I have heard Iverson comparisons, but after seeing Walker in person I see a little more Damon Stoudamire instead.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o57CUpSsINI

Justin Hurtt – Tulsa

The senior from Tulsa looks like he was brought to be a match-up issue for Kemba Walker.  Four inches taller and with a sizable wingspan advantage, Hurtt was a good test for Walker on the defensive end.    

Measurements:

  • Height:  6′-3.25″ w/o shoes; w/ shoes N/A.
  • Weight:  195-pounds; body fat N/A.
  • Wingspan:  6′-7″
  • Standing Reach:  8′-3.25″

Testing:

  • Vertical:  no step vert. N/A; max vert. N/A.
  • Strength: N/A.
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- N/A; 3/4 court sprint- N/A.

Thoughts on Justin Hurtt:

Hurtt played well in the small amount of time we watched him.  A big, fluid guard with a quick first step, Hurtt not only gave Walker a run for his money on offense but did a really nice job staying in front of one of the draft’s quicker players.  It’s unfortunate that Hurtt did not partake in the combine so we don’t have a complete set of measurements, but he showed well on the floor.  Hurtt did not come over for a post workout chat with the media.

Power Forwards

Matthew Bryan-Amaning – Washington

Bryan-Amaning really helped himself by measuring up to a nice 6′-8.5″ height without shoes and an incredible 7′-4″ wingspan.  Unfortunately, those numbers weren’t enough to land him even in the second round on most mock drafts.

Measurements:

  • Height:  6′-8.5″ w/o shoes; w/ shoes N/A.
  • Weight:  232-pounds; body fat N/A.
  • Wingspan:  7′-4″
  • Standing Reach:  8′-11.5″

Testing:

  • Vertical:  30.0″ no step vert; max vert N/A.
  • Strength: N/A.
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- 11.12 seconds; 3/4 court sprint- 3.41 seconds.

Thoughts on Matthew Bryan-Amaning

Diamond in the rough.  If the Kings are going to draft at no. 60 in the second round, my leader in the club house is Matthew Bryan-Amaning.  He may need to do something with that hyphenated name, but the power forward out of Washington was all over the court, hustling and showing off  great hands.  He garnered “oohs” and “ahhs” from the media room when he hammered down a dunk in traffic over the shot blocking DeAngelo Casto.  And he also pulled off a crazy ball fake, which freed him up for another lay-in.  Although his college numbers aren’t gaudy, Bryan-Amaning seemed to play big in a Carl Landry kind of way.  Unfortunately, Bryan-Amaning did not address media following the workout.

DeAngelo Casto – Washington State

Casto appears, on paper,  to be one of those young players who come out a little too early for their own good.  With a year of eligibility left at Washington State, Casto was another player at today’s workout not projected to be chosen in the draft.  Long and agile, the junior matched-up against a familiar Pac-10 foe in Matthew Bryan-Amaning.

Measurements:

  • Height:  6′-7.5″ w/o shoes; 6′-9.0″ w/ shoes.
  • Weight:  240-pounds; 8.4% body fat.
  • Wingspan:  7′-2.5″
  • Standing Reach:  8′-8.5″

Testing:

  • Vertical: 31.5″ no step vert; 36.5″ max vert.
  • Strength: N/A.
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- 8.75 seconds; 3/4 court sprint- 4.06 seconds.

Thoughts on DeAngelo Casto:

This wasn’t even a competition.  Matthew Bryan-Amaning looked like a much more advanced prospect, beating Casto up and down the floor.  Casto showed some hustle, even swiping a ball away from Kemba Walker and making a nice play to get the ball to a breaking teammate.  But overall, he looked raw.  At 6′-9″, 240-pounds with a big wingspan and vertical leap, Casto has some potential.  However, he’ll probably need the NBDL or Europe to groom his game.  Casto did not come over for a media interview following the workout session.

Center

Jordan Williams – Maryland

The sophomore big man out of Maryland had an impressive season, scoring 16.8 points and 11.8 rebounds for the Terps.  Whether that will translate into NBA gold is still the question.  Slated by most mock drafts as a mid-second round pick, Williams has some work to earn a guaranteed contract that comes with being a late first round pick.

Measurements:

  • Height:  6′-7.75″ w/o shoes; 6′-9.0″ w/ shoes.
  • Weight:  247-pounds; 12.1% body fat.
  • Wingspan:  7′-0.25″
  • Standing Reach:  8′-10.5″

Testing:

  • Vertical: 25.0″ no step vert; 30.5″ max vert.
  • Strength: 10 reps on bench press (185-pounds).
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- 12.74 seconds; 3/4 court sprint- 3.45 seconds.

Thoughts on Jordan Williams:

Yikes.  I heard things like “worst player on the floor” and “he’s gained a little weight with all the travel” after today’s workout.  Williams looked heavy through the legs and way over matched by the taller Nikola Vucevic.  At the combine, Williams measured as an undersized center with a high body fat number and that is what we saw today.  If Williams is going to make the league, his body must become priority number one.  It is really unfortunate that he has decided to fix this issue at the NBA level.

Nikola Vucevic- USC

The big man out of USC is flying up the draft boards after posting real size at the combine.  Slated as a mid-first round pick, Vucevic has impressed with his overall size and skill. 

Measurements:

  • Height:  6′-10.25″ w/o shoes; 6’11.75″ w/ shoes.
  • Weight:  260-pounds; 6.1 body fat.
  • Wingspan:  7′-4.5″
  • Standing Reach:  9′-4.5″

Testing:

  • Vertical:  23.5″ no step vert; 25.0″ max vert.
  • Strength: 8 reps on bench press (185-pounds).
  • Agility Drills: Lane agility- 12.02 seconds; 3/4 court sprint- 3.27 seconds.

Thoughts on Nikola Vucevic:

Wow.  Soft hands, nice post moves, tremendous reach and passing skills were all on display as Vucevic looked like a much better prospect than expected.  Nikola told the media that he models his game after Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzk.  While he acknowledged that those players are much better than he is, Vucevic showed a very high level of skill and a nice motor around the basket.  He was up against an undersized Jordan Williams but after watching him move around the court, the 17 points and 10 rebounds a game he put up at USC didn’t seem out of whack.  Kemba led the break, Vucevic fielded the first pass and more often than not, dished it to Bryan Amining for the hoop.  Although Vucevic resembles Darko Milicic physically, his game does not.  If the Kings move down in the draft, he wouldn’t be a bad target at  18 to 20.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aikDzlfczMQ

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".