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More restrictions on in-person prospect visits will make this draft tricky for Suns

The Phoenix Suns, like the other 29 NBA teams, will not be able to put their own spin on things.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The league just announced that the NBA Draft Combine this year will allow much less in-person evaluation. There will be more technology to generate player profiles for teams to share. Combine invitations have gone out to the top 85 prospects as determined by team votes. However, things will be quite a bit different, and restrictive, due to the pandemic.

From September 28 through October 16, the Suns and the rest of the league will be able to interview prospects via video. Yes, video. Players will still report for in-person medical testing, measurements, strength and agility testing, and shooting drills but it will be at the NBA facility closest to them and said hosting team won’t be able to watch or communicate with said players.

An app called HomeCourt will record the workout and the league will input player data. All info will be added to Combine HQ, a program that allows teams to compare players from current and past drafts. Player videos will also be available.

So, while there will still be plenty of information on players as well as videos and meetings, there will be no face to face. The focus will be on data and technology… and the hopes that there are no typos. Also, player videos could be edited or modified to try to get a player to a certain team or make that player look better in certain aspects.

Almost all front offices have shown the want to do their own specialized workouts. That won’t be able to happen for this draft. James Jones will not be able to have full access to players to draft as he likes.

There will be video interviews so Phoenix will have to ask the right questions. However, there is no hiding how much more difficult this draft will be to approach. My feeling is there will be a lot of reaches and a lot of misses by NBA teams.

The ability to physically host players would be a very welcome adjustment for not only the Suns but front offices around the league. At this time, it looks like they’ll be without that luxury.

Let’s hope James Jones will be able to get all the proper information he needs to make the right moves.

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