In the past, the pre-draft combine in Chicago was a good place to see prospects scrimmaging 5-on-5 with each other. But agents worry about their clients being upstaged or embarrassed so for years now the top prospects haven't participated in games or even drills. Instead opting to give private workouts or perhaps just interviews and measurements. This year the top guys are taking it another step. They aren't even going to show up.
The top three prospects in the 2014 NBA draft – Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas, and Duke's Jabari Parker – will not attend next week's predraft combine in Chicago, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Some players, including last season's No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, have bypassed the annual draft combine with injuries, but the bailing of the top three prospects is unprecedented.
It probably isn't that surprising to the Celtics brass. They weren't really expecting to learn a ton about the top picks at this event anyway.
The four-day event Danny Ainge and his Celtics personnel staff will scout starting on Wednesday no longer reveals anything new beyond actual player heights, wing spans and jumping ability. And 30-minute player interviews.
The material they can gather this week simply is limited compared to what was available 10 years ago. "It’s just not as informative as it used to be," Ainge said. "You’re not going to see people playing 5-on-5 anymore. A lot of players aren’t going to work out at this, the way it goes right now."
They might, however, gather some interesting information on the guys that could be available at 17. The might even become enamored with guys that might be available later in the draft (by picking up a 2nd rounder via trade like Colton Iverson) or even undrafted (as they did with Phil Pressey).