Raptors: Wingspan – The True Measure of a Man

By Jeff Wong

Quite a while back, I read PJ Tucker’s extended profile on True Hoop and something Henry wrote stuck with me:

“His arms are freakishly long, which in many regards is better than height (you don’t, after all, grab rebounds or block shots with your scalp–you do so with your hands).”

Now that the Raptors have Tucker, TJ Ford and Fred Jones, all considered undersized (or “under-heighted”) for their positions, it made me wonder: What are the wingspans of our players?

With a little Googling and a little spreadsheet fun, I’ve come up with these figures. Take them with a grain of salt, though; some of them are not “official.”

Player - Height in shoes - Wingspan
Bargnani, Andrea  -  7’1″  -  7’3″
Bosh, Chris  -  6’11.5″  -  7’3.5″
Ford, TJ  -  6’0.25″  -  5’11.5″
Graham, Joey  -  6’6.5″  -  6’8″
Humphries, Chris  -  6’9.5″  -  7’5.5″
Jones, Fred  -  6’3.5″  -  6’11″
Peterson, Mo  -  6’7.5″  -  6’10″
Sow, Pape  -  6’10″  -  7’2″
Tucker, PJ  -  6’5″  -  7′

(Sorry – can’t find wingspans for Rasho Nesterovic, Jorge Garbajosa, Jose Calderon, Anthony Parker and Uros Slokar.)

Noteworthy stuff:
- Humphries, surprisingly, has the biggest wingspan, followed by Bosh and Bargnani, who are both taller than Humph.
- Humphries has the longest arms proportionally, with a wingspan 8″ longer than his in-shoe height. Following him in the freakishly-long-arms category are Jones (7.5″ wingspan-height difference) and Tucker (7″).
- Ford is the only player analyzed whose wingspan is shorter than his in-shoe height, by 3/4″. Note that shoes can add 1.5″ to barefoot height.
- The average height of these nine players is 6’7.42″, average wingspan is 6’11.39″, with an average wingspan-height difference of just under 4″. Don’t know why you’d want to know that, but there you go.
- The average measurements of our four power forwards (I included Sow) are pretty decent: height of 6’11″, wingspan of 7’3.5″, difference of 4.5″.
- For comparison: the NBA’s biggest wingspans ever belong to Manute Bol (8’6″) and Gheorghe Muresan (7’10″).
- I couldn’t find a complete list for standing reach, but the order from tallest to shortest of the six I found are: Bosh (9’1″), Sow (9’0.5″), Humphries (8’10.5″), Graham (8’8″), Jones (8’4″) and Ford (7’9.5″).

Questions for research:
- How do these measurements compare to league-wide averages?
- Are there definite correlations between wingspan/standing reach and steals/blocks?

I’ve already bugged Jason at LowPost.net and Roland at 82games.com to look into these questions, but they’re busy. Can anyone else help me out? Or do I need to wig out like Gheorghe to get some attention?

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One response to “Raptors: Wingspan – The True Measure of a Man

  1. I’ve always loved this stat because I feel “wingspan” is a better measurement than height. Players like Elton Brand are only 6’8″ but because of their wingspan they are great post players – something that i hope applies to Kris Humphries and PJ Tucker this season.

    Seeing as I have August off I’m not busy… next week I’m going to start researching this… perhaps another collab article with you Jeff?

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