For at least two years, wing Andrew Wiggins, most recently of Kansas, has been talked about as one of the most athletic NBA prospects of his generation and a potential future superstar. While Wiggins might not be the surefire No. 1-overall pick he once appeared to be, he's still among the top three of this excellent class and widely coveted.
Wiggins is also responsible for the biggest viral sensation of the run-up to the draft so far. Back in mid-May, he garnered attention for a workout photo displaying his absurd vertical leap, unmeasured in the shot but generally considered to be somewhere around 44 inches.
Now, however, another first-round prospect has appeared to best Wiggins's leap with his own workout photo. On Wednesday, 19-year-old ex-UCLA player Zach LaVine, a raw but enticing point guard prospect, worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers. He jumped really high. From the Lakers Twitter account (via SI):
LaVine's leap was measured at 46 inches, which would put it among the highest ever recorded in a workout. For comparison, he measured at 41.5 inches at last month's official draft combine, good enough to tie for third among all participants.
Although this jump doesn't offer any new insight into LaVine's talents, it does make it a little clearer just how much potential he has as an athlete and basketball player. LaVine left UCLA in part because head coach Steve Alford had little interest in playing him at point guard, and there are still legitimate concerns over his ability to serve as a floor leader. Yet, as we've seen with Russell Westbrook, another dynamic athlete who played off the ball as a Bruin, a combination of elite athleticism and quick decision-making can compensate for a lack of traditional point guard skills.
Most mock drafts place LaVine somewhere in the middle of the first round, and chances are that this photo won't change any of those predictions too much. Nevertheless, GMs and fans alike can be forgiven for imagining the possibilities with such a terrific athlete.
- - - - - - -