In an unprecedented move, the top three prospects in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid will all reportedly sit out the predraft combine in Chicago this week. Per Yahoo! Sports:
Teams were furnished with a list of players planning to participate in the combine in recent days, and the reported absence of Embiid and Parker pushed Wiggins’ representatives with BDA Sports to pull him out on Sunday night.
NBA teams were informed of Wiggins’ decision on Sunday night, front-office sources said.
While most top prospects don’t participate in the basketball elements of the combine, most make themselves available for physicals to be distributed to the 30 NBA teams.
“To be honest,” one general manager said, “I’m surprised more guys don’t do this. It’s the only thing they can really control.”
Embiid, Parker and Wiggins are DraftExpress.com’s top three prospects and virtually every NBA executive expects them to go 1-2-3 in some combination in the draft.
Embiid and Parker are both represented by Arn Tellem and B.J. Armstrong of Wasserman Media Group. Bill Duffy of BDA Sports represents Wiggins.
“They may have to do multiple physicals now,” one NBA general manager said. “It’s more of a concern about Embiid than Parker, given [Embiid’s] back issues.”
Embiid, a 7-footer, is still recovering from a stress fracture in his lower back, and high-lottery teams will be anxious to have him examined by their own physicians. Embiid suffered a stress fracture in his lower back, but expectations have been that he’s on his way to a full recovery.
Embiid hasn’t been cleared for full-contact workouts, but has been on the court shooting in recent weeks, sources said. Ultimately, Tellem and Armstrong can simply be waiting for Embiid’s back to further heal before exposing him to physicals. With Embiid a potential No. 1 overall pick, Tellem could simply allow the team with the overall top choice to examine him later – or perhaps let the Nos. 1 and 2 teams do it.