This past week, several young prospects particpated in the 2017 NBA Combine in order to prepare for their dreams to come true on Draft night. They get their measurables, skills tested and get asked weird questions in interviews.
For years several top prospects have not attended. It’s more of a chance for fringe players to either get themselves into the fist-round or to solidify themselves even being picked, or to simply get a chance in the Summer League and/or training camp invites.
The following is from Durant to Chris Haynes of ESPN:
“Stay your ass home, work out and get better on your own time,” Durant suggested to potential top prospects.
Durant was viewed as a sure-fire first or second overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and was mocked by coaches when he failed to do a single-rep on the bench press. The skinny kid from the University of Texas failed to lift 185 lbs., resulting in several strength and conditioning coaches laughing at Durant. When asked about this, he replied as only Durant could — “No one here can guard me.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 11, 2017
The Portland Trail Blazers regrettably passed on Durant and decided to take Ohio state center Greg Oden, which led to the Seattle Supersonics selecting the forward second overall. While Oden flashed moments of brilliance in his rookie season, the potential never materialized due to chronic knee issues. Meanwhile, Durant has gone on to win four scoring titles, made eight All-NBA teams, and, most importantly, the 2014 MVP award.
Others have echoed the same thought as Durant, including University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari who agreed that top prospects don’t need the Combine. In reality it’s easy to see their point, a Combine won’t make-or-break a prospect and if a youngster knows he will be selected in the top-five then their stock won’t be affected.
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— Sports News (@ooyuzsports) May 13, 2017
With the Combine now done the next step for prospects will be to start individual workouts for teams who request one. After the Draft Lottery selection on Tuesday, teams will know where they are picking and single out players for them to target on Draft night.