Draft Comparisons: Barnes, Lillard, Drummond and Waiters

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — As Draft time rolls around and we learn about the next class of NBA rookies, there’s a desire to compare each to players we’re already familiar with.

No two players are exactly alike and some players are more unique than others. But you can find comparisons by watching video, crunching stats or matching measurements. For this exercise, we did the latter two.

Listed below are four of the top picks, along with the current NBA players they compare with most. For this exercise, we looked at 10 stats from each player’s last season in college, and eight measurements taken at the annual pre-draft combine.

Because we used college numbers and combine numbers, the only current players we could compare this year’s prospects to were the ones who played in college (so no LeBron James or Dwight Howard) and participated in the combine since 2000 (Rajon Rondo is one notable name missing in that respect).

The following comparisons aren’t gospel, of course, but they’re one way to get read for the draft on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Harrison Barnes, SF, North Carolina

Statistical comparisons
1. Gerald Henderson, Duke, 2009
2. Michael Redd, Ohio State, 2000
3. Dahntay Jones, Duke, 2003

Two Dukies as top comparisons for a Carolina guy? Three, actually. The stats of Kyle Singler, drafted at No. 33 last year, actually matched up with Barnes’ better than Redd’s did. But since he’s not on an NBA roster, he didn’t make the list.

Measurement comparisons
1. Tobias Harris, Tennessee, 2011
2. Damion James, Texas, 2010
3. Richard Jefferson, Arizona, 2001

Barnes and Harris matched up closely in the lane agility drill and 3/4 court sprint. They also had nearly the same wingspan.

Stats + measurement comparisons
1. Tobias Harris, Tennessee, 2011
2. Lazar Hayward, Marquette, 2010
3. Richard Jefferson, Arizona, 2001
4. Gerald Henderson, Duke, 2009
5. Chris Singleton, Florida State, 2011

Damian Lillard, PG, Weber State

Statistical comparisons
1. Jodie Meeks, Kentucky, 2009
2. Devin Harris, Wisconsin, 2004
3. Charles Jenkins, Hofstra, 2011

Meeks is in no way a point guard, but Lillard took a similar percentage of his shots from 3-point range and they had the exact same effective field goal percentage, while being equally weak in the rebounding department.

Measurement comparisons
1. Stephen Curry, Davidson, 2009
2. Ben Gordon, UConn, 2004
3. E’Twaun Moore, Purdue, 2011

Lillard and Curry matched up closest in height and body fat.

Stats + measurement comparisons
1. Devin Harris, Wisconsin, 2004
2. Stephen Curry, Davidson, 2009
3. Charles Jenkins, Hofstra, 2011
4. Jodie Meeks, Kentucky, 2009
5. J.J. Redick, Duke, 2006

Andre Drummond, PF, UConn

Statistical comparisons
1. JaVale McGee, Nevada, 2008
2. Chris Wilcox, Maryland, 2002
3. Larry Sanders, VCU, 2010

Drummond and McGee matched up well in terms of rebounds and blocks, as well as a lack of assists.

Measurement comparisons
1. Byron Mullens, Ohio State, 2009
2. Ekpe Udoh, Baylor, 2010
3. Cole Aldrich, Kansas, 2010

Drummond and Mullens had similar body fat and standing reach, as well as comparable marks in the lane agility drill and 3/4 court sprint. And they each had 10 reps on the bench press.

Stats + measurement comparisons
1. Ekpe Udoh, Baylor, 2010
2. Charlie Villanueva, UConn, 2005
3. Cole Aldrich, Kansas, 2010
4. Tristan Thompson, Texas, 2011
5. LaMarcus Aldridge, Texas, 2006

Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse

Statistical comparisons
1. Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky, 2010
2. Corey Brewer, Florida, 2007
3. Gilbert Arenas, Arizona, 2001

Waiters and Bledsoe had very similar shooting numbers and raw stats.

Measurement comparisons*
1. Eric Gordon, Indiana, 2008
2. Willie Green, Detroit, 2003
3. Jodie Meeks, Kentucky, 2009

*Waiters didn’t participate in a few of the agility drills, so there was less data to compare him with than there was for other ’12 prospects.

Waiters and Gordon had very similar weights and body fat measurements.

Stats + measurement comparisons
1. Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky, 2010
2. Gilbert Arenas, Arizona, 2001
3. Keith Bogans, Kentucky, 2003
4. O.J. Mayo, USC, 2008
5. Kirk Hinrich, Kansas, 2003



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