The roster for the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 camp (June 14-16) was announced, and it left us with several questions. ESPNHS basketball editors Mike Grimala and David Auguste break down the Top 100 roster below. See the complete roster here.
True or False: The NBPA Top 100 is the most important skills camp of the summer.
Grimala: TRUE. I believe that for a lot of players, this is the biggest event on their calendar because of three letters -- NBA. Every single kid there wants to play in the league someday, and for now this is basically as close as they can get, as they'll be receiving instruction and counseling from the pros.
Auguste: TRUE. Despite the field being somewhat watered down due to USA Basketball tryouts and other scheduling conflicts, this camp remains the preeminent event of the summer. No disrespect to any other skills camp, but there’s something to be said about the unique opportunity to learn about the on-court work needed to get to the league from guys who have previously embarked on that journey.
True or False: Someone's stock will skyrocket after their performance at the Top 100.
Grimala: TRUE. A number of players have already made their move up the rankings so far this summer, and nothing boosts your stock like playing well against other elite guys. I could envision someone like Zak Irvin or Kuran Iverson playing lights out at the Top 100 camp and climbing up the rankings because of it.
Auguste: TRUE. There’s no easier way to prove you’re a top 100 player than holding your own against other elite ballers. No question. Look for Zach LaVine, whose stock is high coming off his performance at the Pangos All-American Camp, along with fringe top 50 guys like Billy Garrett, Jr., Nigel Williams-Goss and Rashad Vaughn to ascend with a strong effort at UVA.
True or False: Julius Randle is the non-invitee you would've most liked to see on the roster.
Grimala: FALSE. Randle is great -- he's No. 2 in the ESPN 100 for a reason -- but I think we know what he is at this point. It would have been more exciting to see Andrew Wiggins at the camp. Wiggins is No. 1 in the Class of 2014, and he's probably the most electrifying player in the country. His ceiling is higher than anyone else's, and I would have like to see him competing against the best at the Top 100 camp.
Auguste: TRUE. Come on, Mike. Why wouldn’t you want to see the big Texan try to wrestle away the No. 1 spot from Simeon’s Jabari Parker. Like the saying goes: to be the best, you have to beat the best. With Randle not in attendance, us hoop fans could again be denied a chance to see the game’s top two stars go head-to-head (come on, LeBron).
True or False: Troy Williams, who plummeted to No. 42, has the most to prove at NBPA Top 100.
Grimala: TRUE. Williams' recent drop in the rankings (from the fringe of the Top 10 down to No. 42) has been rough, and this will be his first chance to bounce back. If Williams shows out at Top 100, he could start moving back up; if he doesn't perform as well as expected, his slide could continue.
Auguste: FALSE. Bobby Portis made a huge vault in the latest rankings and has emerged as the new it guy in the senior class. So like he told ESPNHS last week, other players will now be looking to outperform him. Expect lower ranked players to affix a target on Portis’ back throughout the event to see if he’s really the 12th-best player in the country.