Former Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert “did fine” in at the NBA draft combine, according to NBA scouting director Ryan Blake. The combine was last week in Chicago. It’s not the most glowing assessment, but the fact is there’s not a lot a player can do to jump off the page.
There’s measurements, physicals and some drill work, as well as interviews with teams. There used to be five-on-five play at the combine, but not anymore. Blake figures that would have been to Shumpert’s benefit. He did what he could.
“He was in great shape, he was competitive, he worked out well,” Blake said.
Blake stood by his previous assessment, pegging Shumpert in the category of “second round to undrafted.” From his research, Tech coach Brian Gregory concluded Shumpert is safely in the draft and should be an early-to-mid second-rounder. The website draftexpress.com slots him as the No. 2 pick of the second round.
A big challenge for Shumpert is that, while it’s not a strong draft, it does have a lot of point guards in it. There’s Kyrie Irving (Duke), Brandon Knight (Kentucky) and Kemba Walker (Connecticut) at the top to start out with, followed by Jimmer Fredette (BYU) and Josh Selby (Kansas).
ESPN.com ranks him as the No. 11 point guard and No. 42 player overall. It seems as if Shumpert is in a pool with other point guards – including Shelvin Mack (Butler), Malcolm Lee (UCLA), Diante Garrett (Iowa State), Nolan Smith (Duke) and Isaiah Thomas (Washington) – in which he’ll have to distinguish himself just to have a chance to get into the first round.
Blake pointed out again that Shumpert’s weakness is his jump shot. For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Chad Ford reported that Shumpert “drew some praise for shooting the ball well.” Blake said Shumpert competed hard in the drills and gave good effort. If you’re wondering, he measured at 6-4.25 without shoes, 221.8 pounds, 6-9.25 wingspan, reached 8-3.5 while standing and has 6.5 percent body fat.
Said Blake, “He can be a Royal Ivey-type big guard to come off the bench, be a distributor, that last-option scorer.”
Ivey, if you’re wondering, is in his seventh year in the NBA, starting out with the Hawks as an early second-rounder out of Texas in 2004. He’s averaged 12.7 minutes per game, mostly off the bench, with a 3.5 points per game average. Not exactly glamorous, but he’s made an estimated $5.7 million in his career. Not a bad living. (For what it’s worth, Shumpert’s numbers were largely better than Ivey’s at Texas, although Ivey played for a much better team.)
Lastly, an interview on youtube from website draftexpress.com. In it, Shumpert said he didn’t have a dominant big man to play with at Tech before catching himself and saying he didn’t use Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors as much as he should have. Interesting.