How Could a Virtual NBA Combine Work?

How Could a Virtual NBA Combine Work?

by May 16, 2020 0 comments

With the resumption of the 2020 NBA season shrouded in mystery, it is starting to affect offseason events. In particular, the NBA draft and its related events remain up in the air.

While the NFL did hold a virtual draft, the combine was done in person and in a normal location. However, the NBA may not have that option. Because of this, it is important to see what sort of measures and plans the NBA has if a virtual combine is necessary.

To do that, it must first be understood what is done in an NBA combine under normal circumstances.

The combine tests a combination of speed and strength while also examining a player’s measurements. It includes events such as the standing vertical jump, three-quarter-court sprint, and the bench press. It also includes shooting drills from all parts of the court, such as free throws, and even tests three-point ranges of potential draftees from the high school, college, and NBA levels.

In addition to all of this, players also participate in five-on-five games in front of a group of scouts, coaches, and general managers.

With all of these activities, it’s pretty clear that this is not just your standard home workout. This year, many prospects most likely won’t have a bench press, much less access to a full-length NBA court.

Factoring all of these things together, and including the fact that participants also traditionally play a five-on-five game with nine other people, it becomes apparent that you can’t fully perform the combine individually and just film it unless you took out a considerable amount of events.

A potential solution for this is to hold the combine in a normal place but allow only team cameras in the building. Players would obviously be tested frequently, but as long as the people manning the cameras stand at least six feet apart and are tested, too, this would provide a close resemblance to the combine seen in years prior.

In a similar vein, the NBA could choose to do a similar style to the one above, but take out the five-on-five games. This would remove the risk that players are getting too close, as there is obviously no need for that in this scenario. While some may argue that the scrimmages are the most important part of the combine, this is a situation in which you have to put safety over everything, and this allows for that.

There is a way to strip the combine down to the bare essentials and remove all other activities that can’t be done in the player’s own home, thus allowing prospects to showcase their skills from their own houses. This would mean that the five-on-five games would be out of the question and would likely remove shooting drills, unless the NBA sent a basketball hoop or took similar measures. This is very inefficient, but it is by far the safest option.

With all of these different scenarios, it is pretty clear why the NBA is also strongly considering other dates when the combine can continue. However, these virtual combines are also on the table, and one of these proposals could become a reality.

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