Does the combine mean anything?

Insider's experts discuss the impact of draft combine tests, interviews, more

Updated: May 16, 2014, 4:18 PM ET
By Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton | ESPN Insider

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CHICAGO -- With the 2014 NBA draft combine entering its second day, Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton discuss the event and its impact on the stocks of various pro prospects.

Ford: The NBA draft combine continues Friday. All 30 teams are represented. Sixty of the top prospects in the draft are here. The first question: Does any of this really matter? The players used to play 5-on-5, but that's now gone. Instead they go through two days of drills, athletic testing, medical testing and interviews with teams.

The medical testing is obviously significant. NBA teams want a good look at each player. The interviews also can be helpful, as it's the first chance for teams to meet these players personally. But the basketball stuff? I'm not sure there's a lot there of value. What do you think? 

Pelton: I think there's value to some of the measurements, certainly. It's easy to make the case for wingspan. David Epstein, the author of "The Sports Gene," has noted that there's only one active NBA player with a wingspan smaller than his height without shoes: L.A. Clippers guard J.J. Redick. It's possible to be a competent defender without a wingspan significantly larger than your height: Chandler Parsons of the Houston Rockets falls into this category, as does Charlotte's Jeff Taylor, something of a defensive specialist. But it's a lot more difficult that way.

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider