If you are unaware John Calipari decided to throw a combine for his four players that are currently eligible for the NBA draft on June 23. The question is, was that the best idea for his players? All 30 NBA teams were invited to the two-day workout that was being held in the Joe Craft center and Calipari was hopeful that close to 20 of the NBA teams would be in attendance.
Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins all put their names in the draft but did not hire an agent. This gives them till May 8 to decide on whether they made the correct decision. The lone senior Josh Harrellson was also expected to be competing in the combine.
For players such as Liggins and Harrellson the combine has the potential to be positive and they have something to gain. Liggins is trying to turn heads to get himself into the second round of the draft. He is pure defense and shaky offense. He has the ability to get to the rim and knock down some jumpshots but his offense is far from consistent.
If he has a good workout in front of the scouts then it could easily sneak him into the draft. Josh Harrellson is another player who is trying to impress.
It is a long-shot that Harrellson will be able to impress enough to get himself into the draft but if he performs well and catches the attention of one team then it is possible that he could as an undrafted free-agent.
Both Liggins and Harrellson are great college role players. Liggins is the full defensive package and Harrellson is a rebounding machine but that is about all the two players have going for them. The only other thing that Liggins has going for him is that he is a junior. He still has another full season to prove his worth and potential.
The combine was good for these two players because it got there names out there and gave them the chance to grab the attention of some NBA teams.
As for Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones, I don’t see how this could be very much help for them. Sure, Terrence Jones’ stock could rise a little bit but Brandon Knight’s is as high as it is going to get this season. This gives the scouts a look at both players but what do you really gain from this?
I find it very difficult to believe that the NBA teams that do show up will be very honest and up front with the players if they don’t like what they see. They real workouts will take place towards the end of the month in New Jersey and that is when players and NBA teams will have a better idea of what they are looking to accomplish during the draft.
If both players perform poorly during this workout then their draft stock will take an early hit which they may not find out about until draft night.It’s dangerous territory to hold a workout for just your team because they get all the attention which may not necessarily be a good thing.
Brandon Knight has scouts raving about his transition offense and his good shooting ability. He will be the second best point guard, behind Kyrie Irving, in the draft. With one more season Brandon Knight could be a top 5 pick this time next year. He will gain more experience from another year in college and he may put on a little more muscle which can only help his game.
Terrence Jones has scouts worried that he may never develop. At 6’9″, Jones will have to play small forward in the NBA and without a consistent mid-range and outside game he will be nothing but an average power forward, most likely coming off the bench.
He is another player that could benefit from one more season under John Calipari’s tutelage. Calipari has proven he can get players into the lottery of the NBA draft and Terrence Jones may fall deeper then he would like to in the draft at this point in time.
We will find out soon enough what each of these players is thinking come this Sunday when the deadline arrives to pull your name from the draft if you wish to play college basketball for another season. I believe that Brandon Knight will end up pulling his name from the draft but Terrence Jones and DeAndre Liggins will most likely stay in.