Once again Draftexpress is on the scene covering the annual Portsmouth Invitational tourney. The Portsmouth is an annual tournament which allows College Seniors to get some 5 on 5 against their peers, and give the NBA execs another opportunity to see them play.
As is always the case, the first day of the camp revolves more around who didn’t show up, rather than who did. Quite a few players decided to pull out once again this year, which is very surprising considering that they won’t have any other place to be seen now. There are definitely still a good bunch of NBA prospects here, but you have to wonder a bit about the decision making skills of some of the players that rejected the opportunity to improve their chances of making the NBA, especially in a year like this.
Players who were on the initial roster that have since been replaced include Sam Young, A.J. Price, Jeff Adrien, Jeff Pendergraph, Dominic James, Kevin Rogers, Curtis Jerrells, Robert Dozier, Levance Fields and Goran Suton. NBA scouts, executives and GMs we spoke to all had similar opinions on this matter.
“I’m disappointed in those guys,” one Western Conference Director of Player Personnel stated. “For most players this is their last chance to make an impact on their draft stock, and they decided to pass on it. Real players play, and now these guys are risking being lapped by other prospects who will emerge here.”
Some went even further. “These kids are crazy!” an assistant GM said. “For players on the bubble to not be seen is suicide for some. Who is giving these kids advice?”
According to the article, 15-20 NBA general managers were seen on hand on day one, including Sam Presti. Most of these guys won’t get a sniff in the first round of the draft. I didn’t recognize more than a couple of the names from among those that actaully participated. Many of these guys are just hoping for a training camp invite, or to see their meager draft prospects inch up a bit. (the 2008 Portsmouth first team was: Pat Calathes, Gary Forbes, Jamar Butler, Mark Tyndale and Kyle Hines -not a lot of NBA credentials there) It is great to see our man Presti on hand looking for diamonds in the rough.