Crowder and DJO NBA Draft Update

With the official NBA Combine coming up in a couple weeks on June 6th, now is a good time to see where both Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom stand in their journey to make it in the Association.

Both were among 44 players that participated in a workout hosted by the New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets in New Jersey recently and here is what people who were there said about the duo.

FromRussiaWithDunk.com (a New Jersey Nets blog)

On Jae Crowder: “Another interesting player is Marquette’s Jae Crowder. He reminds many of Denver’s Kenneth Faried because of his energetic style, and maybe more importantly, his hair. However, a huge red flag about Crowder is his height. He was listed by Marquette as 6’6, but when measured at the combine, he was under 6’4. This will probably lead him to getting undrafted and spending a good amount of time in the D-League. No matter how much you work and hustle, I don’t think anybody can be a small forward, let alone power forward, in the NBA if you are under 6’4. It will just never happen. If Crowder wants to play in the NBA, he needs to develop a better shot and become quicker, because he is even undersized for a shooting guard right now.”

On Darius Johnson-Odom: “Darius Johnson-Odom of Marquette displayed an NBA personality of toughness and grit today. Despite that, he is a shooting guard at only 6’2, and I don’t think he will have a lengthy NBA career if he is drafted at all. He will need to learn to play point guard if he wants to play in the NBA.”

SlamOnline.com mentioned both Crowder and Johnson-Odom as players who impressed during the workouts.

“The school had two guys in New Jersey over the weekend, and they both showed more than expected. On Day 1, Darius Johnson-Odom treated the scrimmages like Big East games, playing in-your-face defense, pushing the ball at top speed, and getting to the rim and finishing strong. Day 2 gave us Jae Crowder, and he did all of the things that made him the Big East Player of the Year. Like DJO, Crowder played the signature tough Marquette defense, even battling 6-10 Xavier Gibson in the post for a duration. He showed intensity, but also great skill on the offensive end, hitting mid-range jumpers and using his body to post up around the basket.”

Chad Ford – ESPN.com

“A lot of scouts like Marquette’s Jae Crowder, but he measured just 6-3 3/4 in socks at the workout. That’s small for a shooting guard, let alone a power forward. His 6-8 wingspan helps, but he’s not a great athlete which makes you question whether he can overcome that big of a gap. Ditto for Johnson-Odom who measured just 6-1 in socks.”

WalterFootball.com: The site may have football in the title, but they do have their own NBA mock draft on the site. The mock has both Crowder and Johnson Odom going in the top 15 picks of the second round.

Crowder goes 36th to the Sacramento Kings: “A versatile talent who affects the game in just about every aspect imaginable, Jae Crowder would give the Kings a needed boost at small forward.”

Johnson-Odom is going 41st to the Portland Trailblazers: “Darius Johnson-Odom is a NBA-level scorer, but his lack of size hurts his stock.”

Where they stand

Crowder: A few people were a bit curious why Crowder was set on playing the two-guard in the NBA (including myself), but after he measured at under 6’4” in New Jersey, it makes sense. Obviously, that is going to hurt Crowder and he probably is going to have to prove himself up until the draft with his work ethic and overall game.

He is solid on both ends of the court, and if teams do their homework on him, they will see he is definitely able to guard bigger players.

At the moment, Crowder has a good chance at getting drafted, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he went very late in the second or even undrafted. The latter option might not actually be a bad alternative, as it would give Crowder more options on where to sign and to find a team that is willing to work with him. Also, it worked out pretty well for Wesley Matthews.

Johnson-Odom: Like Crowder, Johnson-Odom is undersized for his position, but it isn’t as big of a worry for DJO. It is being said he will have to learn how to play point guard at the next level, which certainly is possible for Johnson-Odom.

While he may never be a star, or even a full-time starter, in the NBA, Johnson-Odom will make living playing basketball. With his scoring ability, athleticism, and incredible motor there will be multiple teams willing to give him a spot on their roster. Coming off the bench, he will definitely be capable to make his mark on a game at the next level.

Unlike Crowder, if Johnson-Odom doesn’t get drafted, I will be very surprised.