By Max Rosenberg
Here we are folks. Game 4 coverage just a few days away from the draft. Taking a look at some of the future of the league. Some of you are about to find your new favorite players while some of you will be hearing about these kids for the first time. The Combine is a peek into the future of the league and everyone here at NTC wants to thank you for joining us for coverage this year. Make sure to keep it here with the draft tomorrow and Summer League just a few short weeks away. So, who’s ready to dive right in our last game?
The last matchup sees Team Erman going against Team Curry. Team Erman’s leading scorer, Jalen Williams gets the spotlight first. Helping his team to victory in an 87-72 victory, Williams totaled 19 points, 4 rebounds, and a single steal, assist and block. He had a great night from the field as well as from deep. Jalen connected on both of his attempts from deep and shot 7-8 overall from the field. Measuring a 7’2” wingspan, Williams showed his ability to disrupt as well as rebound in this game, although being more active on offensive boards could help. Jalen continued to display his improved jumper and shooting mechanics and it paid off. He paced his team steadily throughout the game and showed why his name is in contention as a late first rounder. Jalen is a very coachable player who is ready to continuously learn if it will help him get better as displayed his marked improvement while at Santa Clara. I could see Williams going somewhere in the 15-22 range. He’s all but solidified his first-round status.
Next up, from Team Curry, Scotty Pippen Jr. Another son of a former NBA player trying to follow in their father’s footsteps while also paving their own way here at the combine. Pippen Jr. hired an agent and will not return to Vanderbilt. Just a few short blocks from where his father cemented his NBA career, the younger Pip showcased all of his talents over the course of the combine. During game 1, his passing ability was on display as it was here as well. Game 1 however, he finished with 6 assists, only 3 for Game 4. Pippen decided he needed to highlight his offensive skill set during this game, finishing with 21 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block. Pippen’s shot selection in Game 4 needed some reevaluation though. The ball was in his hands, and rightfully so as the lead guard for this team, but he only shot 44% from the field and 33% from deep. If Pippen is hoping to land with a team, he needs to show his adaptability within the confines of an offense and not the propensity to overtake the load by himself. While Pip Jr. does not measure out the way his father did, only coming in at 6’1”, he does have the quickness and length to be a serviceable defensive player in the league. His ability to get to the line was on display here as well, sinking 3 of his 4 attempts. Pippen ultimately will need to latch on with a roster during Summer League and hope to turn it into a camp offer. I do not see him getting drafted on Thursday.
Well folks, there you have it. Another NBA Combine in the books. Thank you for following us on this journey this season. Hopefully you’ll see your new favorite player drafted Thursday or watch them tear up the Summer League circuit and secure themselves a roster spot or camp invite. Stay tuned with us for the rest of this week and beyond as the offseason continues to roll on and your one stop for all the coverage you need is here at No Trade Clause.