BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Believe it or not, Jarrett Allen is still growing... even at 6’10 1/2” ... as measured at the NBA Draft Combine in May. He is, indeed, only 19-years-old. Those measurements, taken three weeks after his birthday, had him with a 7’5 1/2” wingspan and hands big enough to make a basketball look like an orange.
We asked Allen at his “Back to School Haircuts” event about rumors he’s still growing and he said he and, more importantly, his mom, believe his last growth spurt isn’t done.
“I definitely think I’m still growing, Allen told NetsDaily, laughing. “Back at home my mom always says, ‘You got taller,’ so that’s always a good sign when your mom says that.”
Any growth is a bonus for Allen and the Nets. He’s still raw, but his measurements, and not just height, are extraordinary. The Nets are high on Allen for many reasons, but one of them is how very high (pun intended) he can touch on a backboard.
Maximum reach is a function of a player’s length (and hand-size) plus athleticism. Like his height, It was measured at the Draft Combine. Allen’s maximum reach is 12’1”. Compare that to Rudy Gobert’s 12’3” and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 12’2”. (Ben Simmons measured out at 12’6” not a typo.)
Those are elite shot-blocking numbers. Also, as Allen progresses, you’d like to think other bigs won’t have such an easy time getting around him. He’s got quickness as well as height and jumping ability.
At this year’s combine, Allen ran the 3⁄4 court sprint in 3.21 seconds, which for a big man is extremely impressive. Four years ago, Gobert clocked a 3.57 second run, for example. Most of the bigs taken before him in the draft couldn’t match that number, either. Among this teammates, that 3.21 seconds is pretty good, no matter the teammate’s height. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ran the 3⁄4 sprint in 3.12 seconds in 2015, less than a tenth of a second faster than Allen. Isaiah Whitehead came in at 3.34 in 2016.
What do these numbers imply?
For starters, he certainly fits the ‘lobs and blocks’ script we keep hearing about. No matter how young, raw or whatever you want to call it: you simply cannot teach length. Allen has it, and it will be tough for smaller players to drive the line with him sitting under the rim.
Secondly, his ability to run the floor is crucial considering the Nets played at the fastest pace in the NBA last season. With his minutes monitored, he should be fresh legs off the bench for D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin to push the ball and run with. And of course, toss him lobs in the open court.
“He will find me,” Allen said of DLo.
It will take time for him to develop but don’t underestimate Allen just because he’s 19-years-old. You don’t find a player with his length and ability to run the floor the way he does. He’s going to be crucial on both sides of the ball; defending the paint, running the floor setting picks, and hitting his mid-range jumper.
He should be intriguing to watch ... and grow.