NBA draft season got into full swing over the last week as most of the top prospects gathered in Chicago to be poked and prodded at the annual draft combine.
Other than the international prospects who are still playing their seasons in Europe, the only significant complete absence from the combine was top prospect Ben Simmons. Domantas Sabonis, a likely later first round pick, also skipped the event, but just about everyone else was there, though many only participated sparingly. Brandon Ingram, who along with Simmons is one of the top two prospects, didn't even do interviews, perhaps the most relevant and meaningful (to teams) part of the event.
The Wolves were out in full force, with most of their front office staff on hand despite a lack of clarity about who is going to be part of the organization going forward. Of course head coach/president Tom Thibodeau was there, as was GM Scott Layden, but Milt Newton and Rob Babcock were also present even as their roles and futures remain unknown. Scout Calvin Booth and others were there as well.
The Wolves conducted a bunch of interviews, both with prospects expected to go in the lottery where the Wolves are scheduled to draft, as well as several lower-rated prospects. A partial list of the players they spoke with:
I'm sure I'm missing some guys.
Meanwhile, you can read more about the combine--who played well and who didn't-at the always useful Draft Express. There's also extensive analysis of the measurements available. All of the measurements can be seen on this document, and the athletic testing is available at nba.com.
The Wolves have already had at least one workout for prospects at the Mayo, which included Ben Bentil among others, before the combine, and are likely to bring in more players as early as this week. It's clear they are preparing for all eventualities.
Things should get clearer tomorrow night when the draft lottery takes place and we know where the Wolves will be picking, or at least where they will be slated to pick. I'm beginning to believe, based on no inside information at all, that trading the pick is a real possibility.