The Sixers will have to wait a little longer to evaluate the top three prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft, including their reported top target, Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Joel Embiid, the consensus top three talents in the loaded draft class, will not attend this week’s pre-draft combine in Chicago, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The combine, which begins Wednesday in Chicago, gives teams an early look at some basketball abilities, and allows for physicals to be taken by the players.
Wojnarowski noted that while it is not uncommon for top prospects to not participate in drills, having the three most highly-touted talents unavailable is unprecedented.
In reality, missing the combine doesn’t mean much for these guys, except that they may have to take multiple physicals down the road. This trio of players are likely to be the first three taken in the draft, regardless of combine contribution. Last season's first overall selection, Anthony Bennett, also skipped the combine, albeit for injury issues.
Once the NBA's draft lottery is set, which it will be a week from Tuesday, players can selectively choose teams to work out with and take physicals for.
Wiggins, who was initially going to participate, was pulled by his representitives after the reported absence of Embiid and Parker. Embiid and Parker are both represented by Wasserman Media Group. Bill Duffy of BDA Sports represents Wiggins.
While sitting out of the combine is largely a tactical play, Embiid’s back remains a concern, as he has still not been cleared for full-contact workouts.
“[Missing the combine] is more of a concern about Embiid than Parker, given [Embiid’s] back issues,” one NBA general manager stated.
There is certainly some risk that would come with drafting Embiid, but missing out on the combine shouldn’t be too big of a concern for these top prospects.