San Antonio Spurs: These 2020 NBA Draft prospects won’t be at virtual combine

Memphis Tigers center James Wiseman, who'd be a phenomenal fit for the San Antonio Spurs, jokes with his teammates on the bench during their game against the Little Rock Trojans at the FedExForum on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.
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Memphis Tigers center James Wiseman, who'd be a phenomenal fit for the San Antonio Spurs, jokes with his teammates on the bench during their game against the Little Rock Trojans at the FedExForum on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. W 21134
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In the San Antonio Spurs’ most pivotal NBA Draft since the turn of the millennium, these are the players they won’t get to see at the virtual combine.

Recently, NBA Insider Shams Charania released the full list of participants who will be part of the virtual combine for the 2020 NBA Draft. Included are each of the prospects that the San Antonio Spurs have been linked to in addition to dozens of competing draft candidates. Most of the big names are featured including LaMelo Ball and Isaac Okoro, but a handful of major names are missing from the pool of featured players.

2020 NBA Draft Combine participants list — LaMelo Ball will participate; projected top selections Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman and Obi Toppin are not: pic.twitter.com/Yp3kK5mBAD

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 28, 2020

Most notably, projected No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards is not going to participate in the virtual combine. This is an interesting decision considering the projections aren’t quite affirmed yet. There is plenty of time for him to get acclimated with the teams drafting near the top, but this would’ve been a great opportunity for him to show out on a big stage next to his competition.

This could mean that Edwards already has an idea of where he’s going and who’s being taken, but nothing can be assured at this point. While Edwards is a highly-touted prospect, he could find himself slipping because of this decision. However, the more likely candidates to slip based on their decision to opt-out are Memphis center James Wiseman and Dayton forward Obi Toppin.

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Wiseman is an athletic specimen who was supposed to take college basketball by storm before a scandal emerged about him accepting gifts from the University of Memphis to attend. This was another example of the bogus rules of the NCAA getting in the way of a great basketball prospect, further affirming the NBA’s decision to create it’s G League select team featuring Kai Sotto.

Regardless, Wiseman didn’t play very many games and instead opted to “prepare for the NBA Draft” instead of playing elsewhere. Now, scouts and front offices will want to see what he looks like in a combine instead of rewatching the limited game tape they have from the beginning of last year’s college basketball season. Because of this, Wiseman is the most likely player to have his draft stock damaged by opting out, leading to a higher chance for him to slip to the San Antonio Spurs at No. 11. That’s still not a likelihood, but the chance to move up to the No. 5 through No. 8 range to draft Wiseman may bode well for the San Antonio Spurs if given the chance.

On the flip side, scouts know exactly what to expect from Toppin. A powerful forward who relies on an offensive arsenal to lead his team, Toppin has a wide variance of expectations in the league. While most don’t regard him as a top prospect, he’s firmly in the NBA Draft lottery range expected to go between 4th and 12th.

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No matter how this plays out, the San Antonio Spurs are more likely to favor a player they’ve seen work out in a virtual combine than someone who opted to sit it out.

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