Two weeks ago, Zach LaVine earned loads of attention when the Los Angeles Lakers' Twitter account posted a photograph of the former UCLA guard soaring to a reported 46-inch vertical leap during a pre-2014 NBA draft workout at the Lakers' training facility. While those who had followed LaVine as a high school prospect or during his time in Westwood were quite familiar with his hops, the photo caught the interest of those of us who tend to focus most (if not solely) on the pro game, offering an indication of just how athletic the 6-foot-6 Seattleite is, and how much potential he might have if he can harness his physical tools at the pro level.
If the LaVine Twitpic left you wanting more, well, I've got good news for you — here's a compilation of footage from his pre-draft workouts that proves that he gets off the floor just as easily in full motion as he appeared to in still life:
There are still reasons for teams to be cautious of LaVine in the draft, of course. For all his physical gifts, he struggled to produce and seemed uncomfortable in his role with the Bruins, and some (including our own Jeff Eisenberg) who have expressed skepticism about his capability to make the transition to a full-time point guard at the highest level.
That said, given his combination of size, length and the athleticism you just witnessed, he's still viewed as one of the top off-guard prospects in this year's draft, and a potential sleeper pick who could go in the middle of the first round during next Thursday's draft and wind up becoming one of the premier players from the 2014 crop. Yahoo Sports NBA columnist Marc J. Spears had LaVine heading to the Phoenix Suns with the No. 18 pick in his most recent mock draft. In the latest mock from DraftExpress' Jonathan Givony, compiled following Thursday's news that former Kansas center Joel Embiid would need surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot, LaVine comes off the board with the No. 13 selection, owned by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
LaVine's pre-draft workouts continued Friday with a trip to the capital of California to work out for the Sacramento Kings. He apparently remembered to pack his vertical.
Zach LaVine’s 45.5” vertical at Kings pre-Draft workouts. pic.twitter.com/wBp9Q7MdM5— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) June 20, 2014
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