Observations from NBA draft combine
CHICAGO -- The 2011 NBA draft combine officially got underway Thursday at ATTACK Athletics and the first day was, for a third straight year, sort of a dud.
With virtually every NBA GM and head coach and scouting staff in attendance, a number of the top prospects in the draft went through four hours of drills in the morning.
In the afternoon, teams had a chance to sit down, one-on-one, with the prospects to interview them.
On Friday, the league will do athletic and strength testing, and Saturday players will get physicals conducted by the league.
I was in the gym for the four hours and in the Westin hotel lobby where the players were staying for most of the afternoon and evening. Here's what I learned:
The draft combine certainly isn't what it used to be.
For years top prospects, hoping to improve their draft stock, played a series of five-on-five games for NBA GMs and coaches. But lately more and more top prospects refused to play, and two years ago virtually everyone on the floor was a second-rounder. The NBA changed gears last year and decided to move to a combine format. The five-on-five games were eliminated in favor of a set of non-contact drills.
The idea was to get more players to participate. Slowly, that process is becoming a farce.
To read Chad Ford's notes on the combine's top performers, including Enes Kanter, Marshon Brooks and Jeremy Tyler (and also why GMs were frustrated with Jimmer Fredette), become an ESPN Insider today.