UCLA fans are familiar with Zach Lavine’s athleticism. NCAA fans have often seen him sprinting towards the basket, going for a windmill dunk.
He made it look easy.
Zach Lavine already had one of the best vertical results at the Chicago Pre-Draft camp. DraftExpress had the max vertical result at 41.5″.
Many people would consider that an amazing vertical. He topped that at the workout in Los Angeles today.
At the Pre-Draft camp, his maximum standing reach is listed at 11’9.5″. Add another 4.5 inches to the result, and he can touch over the top of the basketball backboard square.
Zach Lavine has all of the physical tools. He’s roughly 6’5″ with a 6’8″ wingspan and has tremendous vertical ability. More importantly, he combines that vertical ability with speed, which makes him excellent in transition. While those measurements scream elite athletic abilities at the NBA level, he struggles to finish against contact in the painted area. In open court situations, he’s excellent at finishing at the rim. However, in halfcourt situations, he struggles to get by defenders off-the-dribble. When he is able to do that, his shot is greatly altered by the help-defense meeting him at the rim.
His game greatly resembles Rex Chapman or Gerald Green. Both players are high-flying finishers. Both players have great jumpshots. Both lack great ball-handling ability and playmaking ability, which limited their respective upsides. Chapman was an excellent 6th man off the bench for the Phoenix Suns. Gerald Green is now just finding his groove with the Phoenix Suns team as well, earning consistent playing time. Lavine needs to be able to create for others and finish strong in the painted area when he’s able to drive by defenders. That’s the difference between being in the lottery, or a late 1st round pick. However, at the young age of 19, with previous experience playing the point guard position at the high school level, his upside is tremendously high. It’s up to him to fulfill it. If he’s able to, he could become a franchise player for years to come.
… I believe I can fly…