The NBA Draft is a little over one month away, and I’m sure every franchise still has a lot of work to accomplish.
Despite the extra time to evaluate prospects, NBA front offices haven’t really had much to work with. The ongoing pandemic not only prevented an NCAA Tournament, but it also halted any normal draft procedures that may lubricate the scouting process. The league only finally restructured the combine recently, and it still greatly restricted organizations access to players. To be more specific, the original process had players who opted into the draft combine travel to the closest NBA market to participate in drill and workouts. Footage and information from these drills and workouts were then sent to teams. The initial plans also did include in-person interviews, but reportedly no workouts or medical evaluations.
Good news, that has now changed. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the NBA will allow teams to conduct in-market workouts and medical evaluations from October 16th to November 18th. The players will, of course, have to register a negative COVID-19 test before participating in any kind of meeting. Additionally, Charania says that the prospect can bring a traveling party of three and organizations will be limited to 10 total prospect visits.
Within 72 hours of prospect visits, all individuals must register negative coronavirus test. Three NBA team executives allowed per visit with 2020 prospects; the prospect is allowed to bring three individuals (family member, agent, etc). https://t.co/Q7pQzzOE3n
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 12, 2020
To be clear, the wording here makes it sounds as though this can occur with ALL draft prospects, and not just those who have agreed to participate in the combine, which is how it should be. What this means is that organizations should finally have an opportunity a get a much closer look at top talent like Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, and LaMelo Ball – who all decided not to participate in the on-court combine activities. If those players agree to meet with teams, it could prove huge to finally establishing some kind of draft hierarchy.
For Bulls fans, specifically, this should feel like a major win. While it’s unclear exactly whom the Bulls will get into to the Advocate Center, we should feel very good about the fact that gym rat and praised talent-evaluator Arturas Karnisovas can get an in-person look at some of these players. The guy is said to work his magic face-to-face, so I’m sure this announcement makes him very happy.
The question now will be to see whether or not we learn who the Bulls fly into the Windy City. Oftentimes, teams like to keep this information on the down-low, so it’ll be very interesting to see what does or does not leak out.