Pacers, NBA hit Chicago for annual Draft Combine

Pacers' Connor Bird, Larry Bird, Kevin Pritchard, and Ryan Carr evaluating players at the 2016 Draft Combine. [@ColinxBowles]

Pacers’ Connor Bird, Larry Bird, Kevin Pritchard, and Ryan Carr evaluating players at the 2016 Draft Combine. [@ColinxBowles]

Most of the NBA front offices, their top scouts, and national media members are in Chicago this week for the annual Draft Combine. It is a “basketball nerd convention,” as one observer there texted me.

Scouting departments have been spent years building pages of notes on every one of these guys. Most of the scouts are on the road over 200 days a year to see prospects in person at games, practices, and in their element.

[Q&A with Pacers Director of Scouting Ryan Carr — on prep work, workouts, and draft night]

Players began arriving Tuesday. 63 NBA hopefuls were invited to Chicago for the annual combine, held at Quest Multisport Complex. Teams are given a complete list of draft-eligible players. From there, they select the individuals they would like at the combine and then list is narrowed down.

Confirmed in attendance for the Pacers: President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird, General Manager Kevin Pritchard, VP of Basketball Operations Peter Dinwiddie, Director of Scouting Ryan Carr, Scout Conner Bird.

See Also: Pete Philo leaves Pacers scouting department

There’s several different elements to the combine, not just the on-court testing that gets most of the attention. Keep in mind, players can opt out of what they want, such as 5-on-5 or on-court testing.

Let’s break it all down.

Team Interviews

Wednesday was a big interview day, with a six-hour interview window available to teams. Each team can interview up to 20 players during the week. There’s also a designated time on both Thursday and Friday morning from 8:30 am to 11:55 am CT.

Who the Pacers have interviewed:

This list will be updated.

Measurements

In the first day, every player goes through a check list of items to be measured. These are the official numbers, tested by staff members from teams throughout the league so that these numbers can be trusted.

The tests: standing reach, wingspan, height (with and without shoes), body fat, hand width and length.

[Click here for complete Anthropometric Testing Results]

On-court Testing

More tests are then conducted on the court to help in evaluating a player’s speed, agility, endurance, and shooting. Tests completed include the shuttle run, lane agility drill, off the dribble shooting, spot up shooting, and on the move shooting.

[Click here for the shooting and agility results]

Medical

Perhaps most important of all is the medical testing. Players go through thorough testing and reports are then created and shared with all 30 teams. These franchises are making multi-million dollar investments in whomever they choose to take. That’s why it’s critical to have every piece of information they can.

Medical evaluations with team doctors and trainers continue through Sunday at Northwesteern Memorial Hospital.

Then, when players visit teams for pre-draft workouts they don’t necessarily have to do these same tests. However, if the player is willing, teams can do additional testing and evaluation in their own building.


Once the Draft Combine is over, pre-draft workouts will get started. The Pacers typically hold one shortly after the combine so that they can bring in guys who are already in the midwest, just three hours away up in Chicago.

In 2014, the Pacers brought in over 40 players for workouts. Last year, they hosted at least 36 players in six workouts total.

Myles Turner, who they drafted at No. 11, was in the sixth and final one.

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