UPDATE: Kansas Guard and Top-3 prospect Andrew Wiggins has withdrawn from the NBA Pre-Draft Combine as well, according to Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski:
Andrew Wiggins has informed the NBA that he has withdrawn from the draft combine in Chicago this week, league source tells Yahoo.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 12, 2014
Last week, the NFL finally ended their draft process with the 2014 NFL Draft. This week, the NBA begins their process as the NBA Pre-Draft Combine takes place in Chicago.
While many top prospects choose not to participate in the basketball portions, most still come for physicals and interviews. However, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, two top prospects will not attend at all:
Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker — two possible No. 1 overall picks — will not attend the Chicago draft combine, sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 11, 2014
Embiid and Parker are two of the top prospects in this draft and nearly everybody has both of them going in the top-3 of this year’s draft. With them not being in attendance, it allows the players to control who they talk to and take physicals for.
This is a huge deal for Embiid, who is still dealing with a back injury and has yet to be cleared for full-contact basketball activities. The more teams red flag Embiid, the worse his draft stock could fall.
For Parker, there is far less concern for injury as he had an excellent season at Duke last year. By waiting until the draft lottery is completed, he can choose to only workout for those teams.
Both Embiid and Parker are represented by Arn Tellum and B.J. Armstrong of Wasserman Media Group, and that similarity likely contributed to the decision of both to sit out.
In the end, the move is unlikely to seriously hurt either prospect. They are simply exercising their right to work out and talk to who they feel. It is a move that could become mirrored in future years.
MY NBA DRAFT.COM JOEL EMBIID