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Stan Van Gundy says you can't learn much from the combine

By James Herbert | NBA writer

More NBA: Season Awards | Grades: East | Grades: West | Seasons in Review

New Detroit Pistons president and head coach Stan Van Gundy isn't a huge fan of the NBA Draft Combine. Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, he was asked if you could really tell anything from it.

"I probably shouldn't say this, I'll probably upset some people, but no," Van Gundy said. "Because, look, they're going to do the measurements on guys and some of that's important -- just like at the NFL combine; the skill workouts and things like that can be of some value -- but basketball is a game of decisions. and the decision-makers -- guys who know when to shoot, when to pass -- those are the guys who become great players. And we can't see any of that here.

"The real advantage is that your people get a chance to sit down and talk to these guys in interviews," he continued. "I think that is very valuable and important, but the way they've watered it down over the years, the stuff on the court I don't think is very valuable. But you still have to watch it."

Every year there are one or two prospects who see a significant rise in their draft stock based on how they fare at the combine -- this year, it looks like Noah Vonleh and Zach LaVine are the two standouts -- but the nature of the event means front offices only learn a little bit about athleticism in this setting. There's also the problem of highly ranked players not participating. Still, for fans, it's fun to see guys jump out of the gym:

Van Gundy also makes a good point about the interviews. After the draft, these execs won't be allowed to speak with most of these guys again until they're free agents, so it's important to try to sit down with as many of them as possible now.

(h/t Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group)

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