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November 12, 2008

Orlando pre-draft camp bites the dust

     I just confirmed a story, originally reported by The Sporting News, that the NBA pre-draft camp is no more as we knew it.

          There will no longer be games or practices for draft candidates. Mass physicals will still take place, and those physicals will likely move back to Chicago from suburban Orlando, where the camp was held the past two years at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.

          Here’s the deal: The quality of player participating had deteriorated so badly the past few years that it became a sham. Twenty years ago, just sure-bet lottery picks passed on playing in the games. Recently, if two guys who played in Orlando were among the 30 first-round picks, it felt like a small victory for the league.

          That means a third to half of the guys filling out pre-draft camp rosters weren’t even drafted.

          Player-personnel execs kept complaining about this, and those complaints got back to NBA commissioner David Stern. I’m told Stern attended a competition-committee meeting to pose a simple, firm question: If this is such a waste of time, then why waste so much money running it and flying and housing front-office staffs to attend it?

          At a time when the economy is doing so badly that question led to dismantling most of the camp.

          The pre-draft camp never approached the NFL’s scouting combine, but it was a great place to chase after league-wide gossip and rumor. The general managers are still expected to fly to Chicago to oversee those physicals and interview draft candidates.

          And that means it can still be the place to breed a trade or two. 

Posted by Observer Sports on November 12, 2008 at 04:37 PM | Permalink

Comments


Rick,

"Physicals" only? Will we no longer have athletic testing and body measurements?

It has been nice to know the standing reach, wingspan, and vertical leap of NBA prospects over the last several years.

Height is WAY overrated by TV announcers and NBA writers. I'm not sure what baksetball players do with the tops of their heads.

I hope we don't go back to the dark ages where we have to assume that every 6'9" guy can outreach every 6'7" guy. Or not even be sure that they are 6'9" and 6'7" to begin with....

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Nov 12, 2008 4:57:19 PM

Oops, I meant "basketball" players, not "baksetball" players. My toddler nephew is influencing my writing.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Nov 12, 2008 5:28:23 PM

I considered that measuring and testing part of what pre-draft physicals were. I'm sure that's still the logical place to do it.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Nov 12, 2008 6:50:46 PM

This is disappointing. Does it really cause much movement in the top of the draft? No, that much is clear. However, for fringe prospects like Othello Hunter, DeMarcus Nelson, Malik Hairston, Mike Taylor, DeVon Hardin, and Joe Crawford, it probably made a big difference in putting them on NBA rosters to start the season.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Nov 12, 2008 7:02:39 PM

Frankly (and this is not the NBA's problem) I think the absence of pre-draft camp games makes it that much harder for some underclassmen to make an informed decision about whether to stay in the draft.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Nov 12, 2008 8:20:55 PM

Ehh...I think most underclassmen's decisions come down to what their particular agent birdie whispers in their ear.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Nov 13, 2008 12:12:57 AM

Really ? their agent ? figuring if they have an agent their decision has already been made....

Posted by: Tomas | Nov 13, 2008 2:53:26 AM

Hahahah, I guess Procton believes you can sign an agent and then back out of that agreement and head back to school.

Rick, I told you in a post a few weeks ago that I thought something like this might happen since the talent level had dropped so much in the camp. I do agree with you though that it will be that much harder for underclassmen to make an "informed" decision.

Posted by: Mason | Nov 13, 2008 8:29:41 AM

Yeah right...like these kids aren't hearing from agents as "advisors," signed or not.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Nov 13, 2008 8:54:48 AM

I am choosing to side with procton on this one. Its all about what the agents are saying to the kids. And there are at least 1 -5 players that sneek into the draft just from the NBA draft camp.

But the agents are smart because it helps to hide any flaws their players may have. So they put them in private workouts so they never have to show how they play around their peers. Which I hate. You should take the 60 best players and put them in this camp and lets watch them play. The best will rise to the top where the latter will fall aside. And teams won't have to just rely on what the agents are saying. I think that will help lower the number of bust you have in the NBA!

Posted by: T-Dub | Nov 13, 2008 11:26:27 AM

The idea of pre-draft camp is relatively foreign to pro-sports anyway. Could you imagine NFL prospects playing against one another?

I agree that it is good for scouting and the draft, but it should come as shock that it is being dismantled.

Posted by: LeeL | Nov 13, 2008 1:37:14 PM

Sorry, should "not" come as a shock.

Posted by: LeeL | Nov 13, 2008 1:38:17 PM

I was just pointing out, as Procton so often does, that his statement was factually incorrect. He's quick to jump on everyone's elses comments so when he says something that is 100% false, you've got to point it out...

Posted by: Mason | Nov 13, 2008 2:35:13 PM

Actually, Leel, there's the Senior Bowl and Texas vs. the Nation and the Hula Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game. Sometimes the practices for these events is secondary to the game itself, but there are always TONS of scouts at these post-season all-star games for college football players.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Nov 13, 2008 5:34:36 PM

You are comparing apples to oranges first of all. Football combine has to evaluate more than 15 positions, where basketball has five. And football combines have exercises specifically made for each position. NBA does not. And I swear there were problems with getting a decent quarterback out of the combine. So all of these systems need tweaking. And for the NBA, I feel to get the best assessment of these players you got to put them together and let them ball.

Also NFL rules say players cant enter the draft until 3 years removed from high school. Where as NBA just changed it to 1 year removed. So football gets a more vast look at players over the year in competition setting. But basketball used to have them come right out of high school and now 1 year of college is all you need. 3 years in college is enough to play a variety of opponents and to see how the player handles growth. Where the NBA still hangs on the "hype".

Forcing the top 60 best ranked players in the NBA combine and making teams then letting them play, shows gm's a real look at the prospect and how they will fit in immediately with his prospective new team. And then the bust number will go down!

Posted by: T-Dub | Nov 13, 2008 6:28:19 PM

Correction: NBA pre draft camp does have specific exercises for the position.

Posted by: T-Dub | Nov 13, 2008 6:30:09 PM

Rick what do they pay you for?

come on no posts today? give me something to read . i find myself getting more info on the bobcats from other websites that your blog. i have not read anything that i didn't know in your blog

what about the reports that we got turned down by the Clippers on a trade for Chris Kaman?

are they paying you NOT to report anything ? what's going on here? give us an explanation

Posted by: Zzzz. | Nov 13, 2008 7:24:48 PM

Rick what do they pay you for?

come on no posts today? give me something to read . i find myself getting more info on the bobcats from other websites that your blog. i have not read anything that i didn't know in your blog

what about the reports that we got turned down by the Clippers on a trade for Chris Kaman?

are they paying you NOT to report anything ? what's going on here? give us an explanation

Posted by: Zzzz. | Nov 13, 2008 7:24:48 PM

Bonnell is on the front of Bobcats.com in the background of the video.

Posted by: Bonnell sighting | Nov 14, 2008 2:47:12 AM

All you haters on Morrison, check his stats since they gave him some PT.

He's good and needs time to show what's he worth...


Posted by: Dougie | Nov 14, 2008 9:15:19 PM

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