CHICAGO — There are plenty of games being played this week at the NBA Combine, but not the kind fans are used to.
Duke's Jabari Parker and Kansas' 1-2 punch of Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins are all Combine no-shows, well aware their top-3 status won't be enhanced by being here.
Others, such as Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, will do interviews with teams as well as take a physical, but he's not expected to participate in any on-court activities, a league source told CSNNE.com.
Why? For the same reasons Parker, Embiid and Wiggins aren't here. Smart doesn't want to risk his draft status (he's a solid top-10 draft prospect now) being affected by a less-than-stellar showing.
In the coming days, there will be more players who will do some but not all of the drills.
"It's like this every year at the combine," an Eastern Conference executive told CSNNE.com. "Guys do some stuff, others don't even show up. Can you blame them? It's not about them being scared or anything like that. It's a business decision. Nothing more than that, honestly."
And with that, we'll take care of a little business here with CSNNE.com's Mock Draft 4.0, with current draft positions based on team's final regular-season records. The May 20 draft lottery will determine the order of the top three picks, with the remaining order of teams based upon their records.
on the rise ---> (+)
no change ---> (=)
on the decline ---> (-)
1. Milwaukee: Andrew Wiggins, SG, Kansas (=) Among the no-shows at this week's combine, it won't affect Wiggins' status as the player at the top of many draft boards.
2. Philadelphia: Jabari Parker, SF, Duke (=) Dante Exum has been getting a lot of buzz lately here, but Parker has immediate impact talent . . . something Philly needs.
3. Orlando: Joel Embiid, C, Kansas (+) Even without him in Chicago for physicals, the concern level for his back seems to be lessening.
4. Utah: Julius Randle, F, Kentucky (=) This pick is straight from "the best player available" handbook.
5. Boston: Dante Exum, PG, Australia (-) He has combo-guard skills, but the majority of NBA scouts/executives see more point guard than off-guard in his future.
6. Los Angeles Lakers: Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State (=) Interviews this week can help solidify his lofty draft position.
7. Sacramento: Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona (+) Excellent athlete, will make his mark in this league for consistently providing great effort and energy.
8. Detroit: Doug McDermott, F, Creighton (+) Stan Van Gundy's first act as running things in Detroit lands him the best scorer in the draft.
9. Cleveland: Dario Saric, SF, Croatia (=) If he doesn't go here, look for the Hawks to scoop him up at No. 16.
10. Philadelphia (via New Orleans): Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan (+) Philly needs another shooter, and Stauskas is one of the best in this draft.
11. Denver (via New York): Noah Vonleh, F/C, Indiana (-) Tyler Ennis makes more sense, but Vonleh's potential at this point is too tempting to pass on.
12. Orlando: Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse (-) You have to figure the Magic will take a point guard with one of their two first-round picks.
13. Minnesota: Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State (=) Solid player at both ends of the floor.
14. Phoenix: Rodney Hood, SF, Duke (=) Provides another body who can space the floor with his long-range shooting ability.
15. Atlanta: Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia (+) Has a soft touch around the basket, but doesn't shy away from being physical. Just what the Hawks need.
16. Chicago (via Charlotte): T.J. Warren, SF, N.C. State (=) Above-average athlete who fits in well with Tom Thibodeau's brand of basketball.
17. Boston (via Brooklyn): James Young, SG/SF, Kentucky (-) Excellent spot-up shooter, addresses one of the many holes in the Celtics roster.
18. Phoenix (via Washington): Kyle Anderson, G/F, UCLA (-) Part of the "high basketball I.Q." family, Anderson's a good fit in just about any system.
19. Chicago: P.J. Hairston, SG, Texas Legends (=) Like Smart, good interviews this week could improve his draft position.
20. Toronto: Adreian Payne, F/C, Michigan State (+) Raptors add one of the best "stretch '4s" in college basketball.
21. Oklahoma City (from Dallas): K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson (-) His athleticism and defense will make him a solid, high energy pro off the bench.
22. Memphis: Clint Capela, F, France (-) The Grizzlies need to add youthful talent in the frontcourt, which is what they'll do in drafting Capela.
23. Utah (from Golden State): Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA (+) His defensive instincts and intensity should provide quality depth to the Jazz backcourt.
24. Charlotte (via Portland): Jerami Grant, F, Syracuse (+) Teams love his length and ability to run the floor. The rest of his game remains a mystery.
25. Houston: Cleanthony Early, F, Wichita State (+) Big-time scorer in college who can provide Houston with a little more offensive firepower off the bench.
26. Miami: Shabazz Napier, PG, UConn (+) With no assurances of re-signing Mario Chalmers, the Heat add a talented, proven winner at the point guard position.
27. Phoenix (via Indiana): Kristaps Porzingis, C, Latvia (+) Lots of potential, still not a given that he'll come to the NBA immediately if drafted in the first round.
28. Los Angeles Clippers: Mitch McGary, C, Michigan (+) The Clippers add a player whose strength -- hustle -- fits well with a star-studded core group.
29. Oklahoma City: Zach LaVine, G, UCLA (-) This is a major upgrade in athleticism for the Thunder's backcourt.
30. San Antonio: Walter Taveres, C, Cape Verde (+) A bit of a reach at this point, but a true rim protector this late in the first round is very appealing.