May 11, 2014, 5:00 PM EST
The NBA’s annual predraft combine will be held in Chicago this week, which is a chance for teams to descend and get medical testing, measurements and interviews done with the majority of the candidates expected to be taken in this summer’s draft all appearing in one place.
But occasionally, players choose not to attend, for a variety of reasons. And two of the players appearing at or near the top of many teams’ draft boards have apparently made that choice.
Kansas’ Joel Embiid and Duke’s Jabari Parker – two potential No. 1 overall picks in the NBA draft – will not attend next week’s predraft combine in Chicago, league sources told Yahoo Sports. …
Ultimately, this is a way for the elite player to control how many teams ultimately have information on his medical history. While most top prospects don’t participate in the basketball elements of the combine, most make themselves available for physicals to be distributed to the 30 NBA teams. …
“They may have to do multiple physicals now,” one NBA general manager told Yahoo Sports. “It’s more of a concern about Embiid than Parker, given [Embiid’s] back issues.”
Embiid is recovering from season-ending back surgery, but injury alone won’t necessarily prohibit teams from using a high draft pick to select a prospect they feel may be a future cornerstone of a given franchise.
Nerlens Noel, for example, was projected by many to go number one overall in last year’s draft, but slipped to sixth before being traded to the Sixers. With Philadelphia being in a full-fledged rebuild, the team was content to let him take his time rehabilitating from a torn ACL injury, and chose to work with him privately while having him sit out the entire season.
This could be a strategy to ensure that only teams with a pick in the top two or three gain access to Embiid’s medical information, and without being cleared yet to participate in full-contact workouts, there appears little to be gained by him going through the process.
Parker is also likely to go top-three, and similarly shouldn’t be negatively impacted by skipping the event.
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