Updates from Sunday, May 11
After Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid announced their decisions, Andrew Wiggins also decided on whether he'll attend the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, according to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
Duke forward Jabari Parker and Kansas center Joel Embiid are slated to be lottery picks in the 2014 NBA draft after each spending just one season in college. Both are in the conversation to be first off the board, so it's rather surprising that they are reportedly skipping the combine in Chicago.
Sources informed Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski of the news on Sunday:
A general manager weighed in on the reported development in a subsequent report by Wojnarowski:
"To be honest," said the GM, "I'm surprised more guys don't do this. It's the only thing they can really control."
Alex Kennedy of BasketballInsiders.com pointed out a pertinent fact and offered his opinion on the matter:
Parker and Embiid both have extraordinary athleticism for their positions, but putting some of those tests on paper could help put teams choosing near the top at ease about them. For Embiid, it would certainly benefit him to run through some drills after a back injury held him out from the NCAA tournament.
Sources told Wojnarowski that Embiid has begun shooting around but hasn't been cleared for full-contact workouts, while Parker wants to avoid physicals with lottery teams until later in the pre-draft process.
Jake Fischer of the Boston Globe is particularly concerned about Embiid's absence from the combine showcase:
Embiid is listed at 7'0" and 250 pounds, yet he doesn't look that heavy and could stand to add some muscle to his frame to better handle the leap to the NBA. The pro-ready Parker is 6'8", 235 pounds, and could also use extra bulk to absorb contact at the next level.
While health may be an excusable factor for Embiid to sit out, Parker hails from the Chicago area and is skipping an opportunity to prove himself as the No. 1 prospect. For a young man who seems to have a lot of perspective, he is not seeing this situation clearly and should strut his stuff in front of talent evaluators if he wants to be chosen before his prolific peers No. 1 overall.
Although neither Embiid nor Parker should fall out of the top three or five based on their decisions not to do the combine, they wouldn't be hurting their cause by attending. Embiid's teammate Andrew Wiggins, should he decide to participate in the combine, could help his cause immensely in possibly going No. 1 in the draft.
All prospective lottery picks should be doing everything they can to confirm their gaudy hype. The fact that Embiid and Parker evidently aren't should cause at least some pause for teams drafting near the top of the order.
One would presume such sensational athletes such as Parker and Embiid would want to compete at the combine, show their skills, confirm their measurements and try to stand out from one another. Both are essentially harming their chances of being selected No. 1 overall in what's thought to be an extremely deep pool of talent.