Some 90 NBA team employees attended the first day of a weekend combine that University of Kentucky coach John Calipari has arranged for league personnel to observe the team’s prospect-laden roster, notes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv note (Twitter link). It originally seemed as though Calipari would keep NBA scouts and executives away from his team for most, if not all, of the season following the combine. But, the coach said today that he would only bar access for the next two or three weeks, and he suggested that he may even let a few NBA types in during that window, as Zagoria and SNY.tv colleague Josh Newman relay (Twitter links). As many NBA eyes as possible will focus in on Lexington this year with nine players in the DraftExpress top 50 on the Wildcats roster this year, so while we wait to see how they all perform, here’s more from around the NBA:
- The D-League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants have reached out to the GMs of the 13 NBA teams with which they’re affiliated to discuss how to manage the odd setup this year, as Mad Ants coach Conner Henry tells Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside.
- Kentucky’s weekend combine is more about advertising for Calipari than for the scouts to take a special look at the Wildcats’ players, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News opines. Scouts get access to practices anyway, but with the cameras rolling Calipari has another chip to use as a recruiter, Deveney notes. “I don’t think any of our people there are necessarily going to learn anything we would not learn in the usual ways,” one NBA GM said. “And I don’t think any of these kids are going to dramatically affect their stock one way or the other.”
- One player whom scouts at Kentucky’s combine are sure to pay extra attention to is freshman big man Karl-Anthony Towns, notes Deveney. “I think you have to watch the way that Towns moves,” one league source told Deveney. “He’s a unique commodity. He is a 7-footer, but he doesn’t play like it, he doesn’t have a lot of thickness and strength. But he isn’t a guy you look at as a project — he is already an NBA-style big man. He can shoot from the perimeter, he is way ahead of the curve on that. He can pass, he sees the floor. These are all the things that we complain about when we see young college kids going to the NBA, that they don’t have these dimensions. This guy has already got that.”
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.