Even as former Gonzaga teammate Rui Hachimura has seen his stock decline a bit over the last few weeks, Brandon Clarke’s has been on the rise since he uncorked a 40.5-inch vertical leap at the Draft Combine last month.
Clarke is an older prospect who will turn 23 before the start of training camp, but he’s a undersized big who compensates with his explosive leaping ability and his energy.
Clarke played two years at San Jose State before transferring to Gonzaga and sitting out a season and put up solid numbers for the Zags last season at 16.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and an astonishing 3.2 blocks in 28.1 minutes per game.
Those block numbers are enormous for a 6-foot-8 player who projects as an undersized 4 with his skill set, but he definitely has the innate sense of timing that all great shot blockers possess.
Clarke reinvented his jump shot during his transfer year, but it is still a work in progress, and he didn’t help himself by weighing in at just 207 pounds at the combine.
He showed a tendency to not want to shoot unless he was absolutely wide open, a tendency that could gum up a team’s offensive flow.