Sunday, May 11, 2014

Wiggins, Embiid to skip combine

One-and-done freshmen Andrew Wiggins, left, and Joel Embiid share a laugh during the Kansas University men’s basketball postseason awards banquet Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at the Lawrence Holiday Inn. Wiggins, who was given the Danny Manning “Mr. Jayhawk” Award, and Embiid declared for this summer’s NBA Draft after one season at KU.

One-and-done freshmen Andrew Wiggins, left, and Joel Embiid share a laugh during the Kansas University men’s basketball postseason awards banquet Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at the Lawrence Holiday Inn. Wiggins, who was given the Danny Manning “Mr. Jayhawk” Award, and Embiid declared for this summer’s NBA Draft after one season at KU.


Former Kansas University basketball players Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, as well as Duke’s Jabari Parker, have decided to not attend the NBA combine Thursday and Friday in Chicago, Yahoo Sports reports.

Normally, lottery picks agree to attend the combine for physicals and other measurements and testing.

Embiid, a 7-footer from Cameroon, might not yet want teams fully to test the stress fracture in his back that kept him from playing in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Teams interested in drafting Embiid will want their own doctors to examine Embiid’s back in weeks prior to the draft.

Embiid, Wiggins and Parker are expected to be the top three picks in the draft, though the order is far from determined.

“To be honest, I’m surprised more guys don’t do this. It’s the only thing they (draftees) can really control,” one NBA official told Yahoo Sports.

Wiggins is represented by agent Bill Duffy and Embiid by Arn Tellum of Wasserman Media Group. KU senior Tarik Black reportedly was not invited to the combine.

Little, Selby, Robinson in tournament: Former KU players Russell Robinson, Mario Little and Josh Selby will be playing in the 32-team “The Basketball Tournament” on June 6-8 in Philadelphia, with the title game set for June 28 at a yet-to-be determined location.

It’s a 5-on-5, single-elimination, winner-take-all contest offering a $500,000 prize for the one team that survives the 32-team bracket.

In an interesting twist, after the final two teams are determined, fans will vote on which team hosts the title game. Also, the four teams with the most fan followers by May 20 will be able to select their first-round opponents.

KU fans can vote for Robinson’s Big Apple Basketball team or Selby and Little’s Team FOE at

Joining Little and Selby on Team FOE: Jahmar Young, Maalik Wayns, Terrance Whiters, Mike Dunigan, Travis Hyman and Christian Jackson. Joining Robinson on Big Apple Basketball: Luke Bonner, Rashad McCants, Darius Washington, Jr., Lance Goulbourne, Justin Gray, Corsley Edwards, Smush Parker, Eric Buckner, Ater Majok.

Some other notable teams: the 2010 Cornell Sweet 16 team, the 2009 Villanova Final Four team, and Hakim Warrick and the Syracuse 2003 NCAA title team.

The tourney will not be televised this season, but there’s a chance the title game will be streamed live. The $500,000 prize money was raised from private investors with the hope this tournament will take off in popularity in the future.

“I don’t know anything about anything. I got a call, and once I heard the names, I said, ‘Why not?’” former KU point guard Robinson said. “McCants, Darius Washington ... when I heard they were in it, I’m going to be playing basketball anyway, so why not try it? I think it will be interesting.

“I think we have enough talent to win it. It’s kind of like the NCAA Tournament, you’ve probably got to have some luck,” added Robinson, who played in Poland last season. “There are a lot of former NBA guys in it. It’ll be some good competition and a lot at stake.”


kellerman411 8 years, 3 months ago

If Smush Parker is in, it must be legit..

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago

"How long have you had that weak back? Oh, about a week back." - Three Stooges.

Joel is wise to not risk his perceived value by having a misrepresentation of his current back condition.

Andrew is wise to keep his preceived lack of aggressiveness on the back burner while letting his "upside" keep reinforcing his value.

Jabari is wise to pass on attending since he is just another over-hyped Duke Butthead.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago

PS: Their order of draft will be 1] Wiggins [perceived No.1 all season long], 2] Parker [Duke pedigree outpoints Joel], 3] Embiid [would have been consensus No. 1 without the back issues], 4] Randle [top talent but just a sliver below elite] 5] The Aussie Kid, 6] Smart goes to Lakers.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 3 months ago

Where they go all depends on how the lottery plays out. Philadelphia has already said they like Wiggins best, Milwaukee, LA and others I don't think have said anything about who they like year although if the Lakers get it, I would love to see Embiid as the heir to Kobe in LA because Embiid has the personality to be a huge star in the NBA.

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

I know the back is a concern for obvious reasons, but it's really been determined by one of the best specialists/authorities in California and at KU that Embiid's back is not that bad. Could he hurt it? Sure, at any time, but I think the back thing is being too much of a focus and it's more of a distraction than anything at this point. He's fine. If it's hurting him a bit in the draft, that's really stupid to hold that against Embiid. He's earned what he's built as a player. The back thing shouldn't change anything.

Our society is so silly on issues. We are backwards and upside down on everything. I guess if Embiid could guarantee a team the World Championship, they would be questioning the back thing still. If the guy can play and is a proven player, you draft him where he belongs. If teams pass on him at the #1 spot, that's their choice. Get him, if you see any signs of physical problems, trade him or get rid of him. Don't ruin his draft selection. Chances are, he'll produce for you if you get him. But it appears the draft selection is already saying he's too much of a liability and teams will pause.

In that case, he should've stayed at KU and played a full year at 100% to show the NBA he's draft worthy. I guarantee you he would be the unanimous #1 pick bar none next year. But, he's not and here we are. Sorry, JoJo, it appears your back is going to be an albatross your entire career. You show them what you can do and make us proud.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 3 months ago

Seriously, you think it's "stupid" to be hesitant on a guy who has had back issues both in high school and in college? And when it is understood that folks that have stress fractures are more prone to have more than the general population?

Perhaps you might go back to Sam Bowie with his leg injuries at UK, or Oden at OSU.

You say "Get him, if you see any signs of physical problems, trade him or get rid of him. Don't ruin his draft selection"

Obviously you're not looking at this from a team's perspective. Right, draft him top 3 and just "get rid of him" if you see signs of problems." That's easy. Though you passed on other high, high level talents. But "Don't ruin his draft selection." Should a team care about his "draft selection"?

I would simply say in response that it is flat stupid of a GM not to consider it. You just have to weigh the potential risk vs. the potential reward. But you can't ignore the risk.

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 3 months ago

I agree. If I am a GM, the back issue would make me nervous and I would highly consider someone else. It isn't anything against Joel, but when someone seems injury prone you can't help, but think twice. I am hoping he is healthy, gets stronger and prepares his body for the NBA game.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 3 months ago

Even if Embiid never hurt his back, he still wouldn't do anything at the combine other than interviews because guys like him, Wiggins, and Parker can only hurt their draft stock at the combine so there's no logical reason to participate in it to begin with.

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

BTW- Having said that above, #3 isn't too shabby, but if he was #1, he should remain #1. But, #3 is still pretty outstanding under his circumstances.

Go get em' JoJo...have fun in the NBA.

Also, I don't really think this combine thing is a big deal. I guess it's news worthy.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 3 months ago

My gut tells me that "The Basketball Tournament" will never be a widely popular event for viewers, especially if it's competing with the NBA Finals in early June.

It will be hard to make it a marketable event unless they get some star power. Relying on college hoops fans to tune in and root for guys who have been playing overseas or DLeague ball for several years doesn't sound like a sound investment...

Greg Lux 8 years, 3 months ago

Wiggins has nothing to prove at this point. His entire appeal is Potential. You can't demonstrate anymore then he has already done at the Combine. So I totally understand why he would choose not to go. Embiid is in the same situation exactly. As for Parker I am not a fan one way or the other and have no feeling as to his decision. I still believe Wiggins and Embiid will probably be the #1 and #2 picks so Parker could probably hurt his position at the Combine if he believes he is a top 5 pick why go? He won't pass Wiggins and I doubt he will pass Embiid either. All the best to our Jayhawks. Those two are going to be something extra special down the road ( imho ).

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