It is that special time of year again. The time when sorry sack franchises can feel all tingly inside with the hope that perhaps their harshest of shortcomings can be washed away with a few doses of luck via the NBA Draft. Will their respective front office have the fortitude to pull the trigger on the next "Greek Freak," or will they cause Fran Fraschilla to have an on-air aneurysm (starting at the 2:27 mark) with shrieks of a player being "two years away from being two years away."
That's right, the NBA Draft process has finally reared its head, and the first stop on this epic journey lies in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine from May 11-15. This is the time when junkies are given free reign to debate a player's wingspan with more precision than Jay Bilas, cook up some fire on the NBA trade machine and undermine their respective GM with a litany of analysis accumulated via an onslaught of Draft Express videos at two in the morning.
According to NBA.com, over 70 players have been invited to this year's combine, but the provided list is without one notable name: Ben Simmons. Much like his Australian brethren Dante Exum in 2014, Simmons will not be in attendance at the combine.
Although there will be some gripes from selected groups, the decision makes sense as Simmons will seemingly ride the wave he has built up for himself over the last year. Giving more material for teams, scouts, or fans to nitpick can only hurt his stock going forward. A growing legion of observers are amping their clout for Brandon Ingram as the top prospect in part to said nitpicking, and Simmons is best served to tread water with the mystique of his talents for as long as he can at this stage in the game.
(It may also be wise to keep his lack of a jump shot under the radar as well ...)
Unlike the NBA Draft combines of yesteryear, a new rule has been instituted to allow potential prospects to make a more informed decision in regards to their declaration for the draft. In season's past, early entrants were required to state their intentions towards declaring or going back to school (provided they did not hire an agent) by the start of the April signing window.
With the new rule change, those same players have been given a deadline that extends as far as ten days after the conclusion of the combine. The thought is that players will have a better idea of where they stack up against the competition and thus will have the opportunity to choose the destiny without any regret. Great work, NBA.
Who are you guys looking forward to seeing most at the combine? Do you think Simmons is making the right move by not attending? Is there a prospect that will catch the eye of Bilas and create a slew of references to "wingspan" and "motor?"