COMMENTARY | The Phoenix Suns have hosted over 50 prospects in preparation for the 2013 NBA draft on June 27, 2013, from Madison Square Garden in New York City. It's a great time to evaluate a player's skill level, determination and character ... when he decides to actually work out.
Injuries happen and can force a player to sit out, of which Nerlens Noel and Alex Len can attest. That's not what's breaking the system. For those unaware of the scouting/evaluating system, here's a quick overview:
The team makes up a list of potential talent that will likely be available at each of their respective draft positions. For example, the Miami Heat aren't going to waste time working out the top talent because they don't have one of those picks and aren't going to be trading LeBron James for the No. 1 pick anytime soon.
The Suns are in a much different situation, with the No. 5 and No. 30 pick in the first round. They also hold a second-round pick, No. 57 overall. Because the Suns are all over the board, they've invited and worked out players of many different talent levels.
Here is where the wrench in the system occurs. The team invites approximately six prospects on a given day, so that they can match up against each other and do some three-on-three drills. When you're drafting in the lottery, you're likely going to be making a serious commitment to that player. The evaluation process during these workouts is intense -- and very deliberately so.
When a player like Ben McLemore chooses to not participate, it makes things more difficult. He was in Phoenix on June 5, alongside Shabazz Muhammad and Victor Oladipo. General manager Ryan McDonough and coach Jeff Hornacek would have loved to see McLemore, Muhammad and Oladipo compete against each other.
Instead, McLemore decided to sit it out. He wasn't injured, he just didn't want to work out. How bad of a taste does it put in a team's mouth when a quarterback refuses to throw for scouts in the NFL? This is the NBA equivalent to that. It's an opportunity to make an impression, whether it's positive or negative.
Teams want to see the best talent matchup against the best talent. There's a reason those three guards were brought in together. If McLemore is going to shy away from competing against them, how will he fare when he faces off against much tougher competition on a nightly basis in the NBA?
Shying away from a challenge isn't going to win McLemore (or any other draftees) any favor with the Suns brass. Hornacek was known as a tough, gritty player who wouldn't back down. He expects the same from his current players and anyone who wants to play in Phoenix. Apparently, McLemore doesn't want either of those.
Michael Dunlap is an NBA credentialed writer who covers Phoenix Suns practices and games for the site he founded, HoopsHabit.com.Follow @iambabyd13 on Twitter!
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