BOSTON — Two of next month's top NBA draft prospects - Kansas' Joel Embiid and Duke's Jabari Parker - will not attend this week's predraft combine in Chicago, first reported by Yahoo Sports.
While the decision may raise a few eyebrows among fans of lottery-picking teams like the Celtics, it has little to no impact on NBA executives who for now at least have both among the potential targets with the No. 1 overall pick.
Like many players projected to go with the top overall pick, access and visibility will be carefully orchestrated for fear that too much may have a negative impact on their draft position.
Both Embiid and Parker have reason to be overly cautious.
Embiid suffered a back injury that cut short is lone season with the Jayhawks.
Parker's play stood out during his lone season under coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.
But his conditioning was also a concern expressed by a number of scouts when contacted by CSNNE.com throughout this past season.
Even coach K admitted following a Duke win at Boston College earlier this season in which Parker had 29 points and 16 rebounds, that his star player's conditioning was at times an issue.
"He played more like a veteran in that he was playing so hard and usually we have to sub him because he gets tired," Krzyzewski said following the Blue Devils' 89-68 win. "This is really the first game where I've seen him where he's playing so well he played through tired. It's something that a really good player has to learn to do, to keep performing when you're tired and he did."
While it's a concern, the only way either player can adversely be affected is if they are medically red-flagged between now and the draft.
If that happens, there's no telling how far their draft stock will plummet.
In 2012, Jared Sullinger was red-flagged in the days leading up to the draft due to concerns about his back.
Once considered a top-5 pick, Sullinger slid all the way to No. 21 for the Boston Celtics.
He underwent back surgery during his rookie season, but bounced back the following year to lead the Celtics in rebounds per game (8.1) and did not miss a game or a practice because of his back following the surgery.