Over the next two days, the NBA will hold its first Draft Combine in Chicago. The NBA hopefuls will be poked, prodded, measured and run through drills. Hopefully, we'll get a look at all the measurables for guys like Jrue Holiday, Stephen Curry and Eric Maynor in short order. After the jump we'll take a look at a couple of updated mock drafts and a Q&A with Courtney Witte, director of player personnel for the Sixers.
Witte does a great job of explaining the changes to the NBA pre-draft workouts in this Q&A with Sixers.com
There were two sessions a day. The morning consisted of individual skills and the afternoon or early evening was the five-on-five format. On the back end of that, the medical representatives from each team are allowed to observe the more specific medical tests that are done on each player.
This year, it's going back to Chicago and is now called the NBA Draft Combine and consists of the same standardized tests done in the past. There's no longer a five-on-five format; it will be replaced by a light-skill workout with one-on-none situations.
The nice thing about this year is that each team can conduct a maximum of 18 interviews with players of their choosing for a 30-minute period each. That's what we're really looking forward to. The standardized testing is fine, it's something we need, but we have obviously seen a majority of these kids play numerous times. However, to be able to sit across from a young man and get a feel for him as a person, to see what's inside his head, what his goals are, what his objectives as a basketball player are and what type of interaction there is between him and us, is very important.
I know players have seriously hurt their draft stock in the past with poor performances in the five-on-five format, so I don't really know how I feel about it's removal from the process. The Sixers have typically taken workout warriors (DraftExpress ranked Thad #7 in 2007, Carney #5 in 2006. Speights apparently did not participate last season), so I don't know how much the five-on-five influenced them.
The one piece of information I'd love to get my hands on is who the Sixers choose to interview. I suppose with 18 possible names, they'll touch all the bases. Kick all the tires. Simply interviewing Stephen Curry doesn't mean they're scheming a way to get up to draft him, they're probably doing due dilligence. But maybe a few interviews with guys considered to be second rounders could hint at the possibility of purchasing a late pick.
While we anxiously await the measurements from the combine, let's check in with Chad Ford and DraftExpress for their latest mock drafts.
- Ford still has the Sixers taking Maynor at #17. The shocker on his updated list is Jrue Holiday going #4 to Sacramento. Some draft boards had him slipping below the lottery.
- DraftExpress has had a change of heart, with the Sixers now taking Lawson at #17, with Maynor falling to the Hawks at #19. (Ford flipflops the two, with Lawson going to the Hawks). The shocker on DX's draftboard is James Harden going number three to OKC with Rubio falling to Sacramento at #4.
- Arin from ArinItOut also has the Sixers taking Lawson at #17.