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ESPN Blowing Out Coverage of NBA Draft Combine, Top Prospects Be Damned

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ESPNU and ESPN2 will televise 10 hours of live NBA Draft Combine coverage on Thursday, May 15, and Friday, May 16. The combine is a chance for teams to get an up-close look at players before the draft in June. The coverage of players stretching and doing vertical leap tests is the NBA's attempt to be just like the NFL, only less popular. From ESPN's press release:

NBA Draft Combine coverage will include interviews with players, coaches, scouts and team executives. NBA Draft Combine viewers will also get an inside look at how the expected top draft picks fare in several skills challenges, including Vertical Leap, Lane Agility Drill and ¾ Court Sprint as well as shooting and shuttle drills.

Over the weekend, the draft's top three prospects -- Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, and Jabari Parker, pulled out of the event. Adreian Payne and Mitch McGary will reportedly skip also, according to reports. While it's typical for players not to go through all of the basketball elements of the combine, it's unusual for so many of them to skip it entirely. Embiid's absence, for example, means that individual teams interested in the oft-injured center will have to conduct their own physicals should they be interested in drafting him.

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