CHICAGO: Ohio State’s William Buford made an impression at the NBA combine this week, but for nothing he’d like to remember. Buford measured in with 11.3 percent body fat, tied for the second-highest among the attending players.
Buford was surprised the figure was so high and said he has been ill in recent weeks. He recently fought off a stomach virus and added a few pounds.
“But that’s no excuse for my body fat,” Buford said. “It’s never been that high.”
Questions about Buford’s conditioning were already surfacing and his body fat count doesn’t help. Buford averaged 14.5 points and 5.0 rebounds as a senior, but shot 42 percent from the field and 35 percent on 3-pointers, both career lows. He is projected as a second-round pick, but isn’t a lock to be drafted.
“Going into the league, it’s a clean slate,” Buford said. “Wherever I get drafted, I’ll get a clean slate to make a name for myself.”
Virginia’s Mike Scott, Michigan State’s Draymond Green, Purdue’s Robbie Hummel and Iowa State’s Royce White will be in Cleveland on Monday for workouts. Any of the four could be options with the second pick in the first round or either of the Cavs’ second-round picks.
Green is the smallest of the four, measuring 6-foot-7¾ at this combine, but he prevented Anthony Davis from being a unanimous choice as the NCAA Player of the Year. The college coaches named Green the nation’s top player. Every other organization gave it to Davis.
Green averaged 16.2 points and 10.6 rebounds as a senior and departs as the Spartans’ all-time leading rebounder.
“Size doesn’t matter,” Green said. “Charles Barkley was only 6-4 and look at the career he had. I can’t help how tall I am, but that doesn’t define me as a player.”
By the time of the draft on June 28, the Cavaliers are expected to work out upwards of 70 players or more. To put that in perspective, only 60 attended the combine.
Take a number
Among the numbers that stood out this week, Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli had the longest wingspan (7-5¾) and North Carolina’s John Henson (7-5) was a close second. Duke’s Miles Plumlee had a 40-inch vertical and Washington’s Terrence Ross had the lowest percentage of body fat (3.2). Texas guard J’Covan Brown had the highest body fat (12.5 percent) and he’s only 6-1.
Thomas Robinson measured in at 6-8¾, but has a wingspan of 7-3¼. That’s longer than any of the 7-foot centers available (Fab Melo, Tyler Zeller and Meyers Leonard). By all accounts, Robinson had a tremendous few days at the combine and has positioned himself nicely to be selected second overall by the Charlotte Bobcats.
Should he slip to fourth, the Cavaliers would still consider him despite the presence of Tristan Thompson.
Duke’s Austin Rivers believes there is a chance he could go as high as fourth to the Cavaliers or as low as 12th to the Milwaukee Bucks. He is holding out at least a little hope that the Boston Celtics could swing a trade to move up and nab him so he could play for his father, Doc Rivers.
“It’s a father-son relationship, and then it also turns father-son and coach-player, so it would be an interesting balance of how we’d have to balance that out,” said Rivers, whose dynamic personality is similar to his father’s and whose maturity is common in a coach’s son.
George Karl coached his son, Coby, briefly in Denver, but Coby was never a key piece to the team.
“I think we could work, just because of how seriously my dad takes the game and how seriously I take it. Outside the lines, you just have to be normal, then inside the lines you just have to understand that it’s nothing personal. It’s a job.”