Andrew Wiggins Reportedly Won't Attend 2014 NBA Draft Combine

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2014

ST LOUIS, MO - MARCH 21:  Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks looks on after a play against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels during the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Scottrade Center on March 21, 2014 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

As expected, add Andrew Wiggins to the ever-growing list of top prospects who will not be attending next week's NBA draft combine in Chicago.

Wiggins informed the NBA of his decision to withdraw his name from the participant list Sunday night, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Wiggins joins former Kansas teammate Joel Embiid and Duke's Jabari Parker as the most high-profile players to pull their name from consideration.

Wojnarowski first reported Embiid and Parker's absences earlier Sunday. The trio are considered the overwhelming favorites to be the top three players taken in June's draft. 

Like Parker and Embiid, Wiggins' decision to not attend the scouting combine is notable but not necessarily a surprise. The predraft summit is largely for midtier players who are looking to boost their draft stock or disproved preconceived notions about their skill set.

Plenty of potential lottery picks have foregone the workout portion of the combine in recent years, as agents look to highlight their players in the most advantageous environment.

Wiggins and Co. skipping out on the Chicago experience entirely is something of a new move. Typically, even nonparticipants are in attendance to undergo medical testing, measurements and meet with prospective teams. The combine is typically the place prospects have their first face-to-face meeting with potential suitors.

With Wiggins, Embiid and Parker set as virtual locks for the top five, it's likely their representation decided the combine wasn't worth interrupting their preparation schedule. They will now be able to choose which teams see them work out, which will largely depend on the May 20 lottery results. It will also prevent a wide dissemination of their medical records.

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 21:  Jabari Parker #1 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts in the second half against the Mercer Bears in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PNC Arena on March 21, 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Str
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

"To be honest," one general manager told Wojnarowski, "I'm surprised more guys don't do this. It's the only thing they can really control."

Embiid missed the end of his freshman season with back troubles. Parker lacked ideal conditioning at Duke because of a lingering injury from his high school days. Wiggins has no history with injuries and no other medical red flags that have been publicized, so this is likely more of a muscle-flexing move than any reason for concern. If Parker and Embiid—his two top competitors for the No. 1 pick—aren't participating, there is little reason for him to make the trip.

ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required) ranks Wiggins as the top player in the 2014 class, a sentiment I've been publicized agreeing with. The nation's top-ranked player out of high school and a preseason All-American selection, Wiggins averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds on 44.8 percent shooting in his only collegiate season. A 6'8" swingman with elite athleticism and quickness, Wiggins isn't as far along in his development as a basketball player as Parker but projects as a Paul George-esque, two-way menace.

Whether Wiggins goes No. 1 overall likely depends on which team wins the lottery. Parker is the most NBA-ready and could push a midlottery team into playoff contention if he finds the right fit. Embiid is the ultimate boom-or-bust proposition, a potential superstar cornerstone should he stay healthy. Wiggins melds both the safeness of Parker—he won't be a bust—along with the high potential of Embiid.

We'll get to see which of these players pans out best soon enough. It just won't be in Chicago.


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