2024 NBA Draft Combine takeaways: KJ Simpson boosts stock, Jamal Shead goes

CHICAGO — In the Windy City on Tuesday, Colorado product KJ Simpson was the most breezy force of nature in the city, blowing past defender after defender in a masterclass performance from the opening scrimmage of the first 5-on-5 action of the 2024 NBA Combine. Simpson turned in 16 points, grabbed three boards and turned in a number of dazzling finishes at the basket in electric fashion, stealing the show to kick off what turned out to be an eventful afternoon from Wintrust Arena.

Simpson’s showing was a great stock-up moment for the 6-foot guard, who was a standout during athletic testing, too. He could find his way in the back-end of the first round when it comes time for my next mock draft.

Here are four takeaways from Tuesday, starting — and staying — with Simpson.

1. Simpson, Scheierman star

Simpson put his athletic power on display with an array of impressive offensive plays Tuesday in a Combine standout, which included a near Jose Alvarado-style chasedown steal and a blow-by finish at the basket. He had everything working.

Simpson had to compete with as much firepower on the other side, though, as Creighton’s Baylor Scheierman outproduced him and Scheierman’s team got the win. He put up 17 points and his three of his six 3s to go with three steals and eight boards in the victory. Simpson looked like the best player for stretches of the game but Scheierman has a case to be considered as well. Both had a very nice outing.

2. Bronny blends in during forgettable outing

Final stat line for Bronny from Tuesday’s scrimmage: 2-of-8 shooting, four points, three turnovers, zero assists, two steals and four boards. It was mostly a forgettable outing — good, not great — that didn’t distinguish him from his peers but also did not necessarily tank his stock either. He didn’t look out of place, which is more than what I could say for a handful of other participants, and even showed off some nice touch on a moonshot-of-a-floater in the lane.

Bronny’s measurements left a little to be desired but it has overall been a strong week for him after a good max vertical jump number and excellent shooting in the star 3-point shooting drill.┬áSpeaking to the media in a rare availability, Bronny emphasized his goal is to create a name for himself.

3. Trentyn Flowers flashes more than athleticism

We know Trentyn Flowers is athletic — we’ve seen it in action and he’s tested very well this week– but on Tuesday we got to see a little more than just the athleticism. He had a great game finishing with 12 points, two assists, two rebounds and a made 3 in the second scrimmage, showing off real activity on both ends that helped portray himself as more than just a mega leaper (although, to be clear: he’s still a very, very good leaper).

Flowers played last season in Australia’s National Basketball League, which broke the hearts of Louisville as he had signed with the Cardinals. Flowers was 247Sports’ No. 31 player in the Class of 2023 and ranked higher than that before he reclassified in from 2024.

The best player from the second game of action Tuesday was Houston guard Jamal Shead. Period. He lit it up with 14 points, four assists and grabbed three boards for Team Love, and in typical Jamal Shead fashion, he did it by being active on both ends and being efficient.

Shead ranks No. 34 on the CBS Sports Big Board and it’ll be hard to keep him outside the top 30 when we update next. He looks like a first-round pick.

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