AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) The 2021 NBA Draft Combine is underway in Chicago, Illinois, with two former Tigers looking to shine above the rest and move up the draft leaderboards.
Projected first-round pick Sharife Cooper chose not to participate in the combine's measurements and individual workouts. Instead, he has been traveling from city to city as teams host pre-draft workouts for players. He will, though, be in Chicago later in the week for the scrimmages beginning June 24.
JT Thor was in Chicago on Tuesday for the NBA Combine measurements and individual drills. The 18-year-old came in at 6'9.25" and 203 lbs, with the second-longest wingspan in the draft at 7'3.25". His stupendous reach is more than former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo's and just short of two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant's.
Thor shot just 29.7% from three-point range last season but put on a show in shooting drills on Tuesday. Thor went an impressive 15/25 from deep with his awe-inspiring shooting mechanics in the combine's star shooting drill.
In an interview with HoopsHype's Bryan Kalbrosky, Thor discussed how he sees his game translating to the pro level.
"I'd say it's my versatility, both on defense and offense," Thor said. "Coaches can put me in any situation and I wouldn't be a burden or a liability. You can just throw me on the court pretty much. I think I can fit with any team."
With interviews playing an essential role in the NBA Draft process, players must be willing to sell themselves to NBA executives.
"I think I'm going to be one of the best players in the world someday," Thor said. That's the confidence that I go in with every day."
Thor was supposed to play in the afternoon scrimmages on Thursday but pulled out of them at the last minute. Thor has stayed in close contact with NBA scouts after his impressive performance at the combine. Meaning that a particular team could be eyeing Thor, and not participating in scrimmages keeps other teams from seeing his potential.
In Bleacher Report's Post-NBA Lottery Mock Draft, Cooper is projected to go 23rd overall to the Houston Rockets and Thor being selected to the Phoenix Suns with the 29th overall pick.
The NBA Combine scrimmages will be aired every afternoon the rest of the week on ESPN 2. With the NBA Draft coming up on Thursday, July 29, the two former Auburn Tigers have just over a month to improve their draft stock.