The NBA Draft Combine in Chicago will take place June 6-8 this year and as expected the list of players invited for the event has been posted early.
Both Canadians had storied careers at their respective schools and as four year seniors, this marks the culmination of their journey through school and graduating to what could be NBA careers. They had both been projected by many mock Drafts since the 2011-12 season began and they are still projecting their now - Nicholson in the late first round and Joseph in the mid to late second.
If both players choose to attend the Windy City combine next month, we will find out some interesting things about them. Since the combine measures all the things we love to see as fans on their bio pages like true heights and weights as well as wingspan and standing reaches but it will also pit them against some of the better Draft eligible prospects around.
This will be the true measurement I think. Being in an environment where you're being pushed continually day in and day out either on the floor, in the measuring rooms or with media and GMs, how they perform here will be very important.
For Nicholson this will be his first such combine as he was not invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament for college seniors a couple of months ago. I don't think he'll have any issues with any of the physical testing that happens and the drills and scrimmages that will surely happen. My interest will be in his one on one situations with executive types. Nicholson has always been a very quite and not so boisterous kind of guy and how he handles himself here will be important. To tell you the truth, he doesn't say a whole lot to begin with so this will actually be interesting to see just how much he does say when interviewed.
For Joseph, he choose not to attend the New Jersey combine held this past weekend so there will be a little more scrutinizing eyes on him. He, like Nicholson, had not attended Portsmouth but declining the combine may raise a few GM's eyebrows. I know that it may have been a strategic decision on the part of him and his agent to not shift his potential Draft status so him being in attendance at this event will be paramount I think. I can't imagine his being drafted will hinge on his performances here during testing or drills but one can never know. He'll be best seen during the team workouts that will happen in June before the Draft so this will probably be a formality thing for Joseph but he'll definitely need to show up regardless.
All in all, there was not surprise to see these two players on the list. This was a preliminary list I imagine and I can see players dropping out as the days go by. But whatever happens, we'll need to see both of them at the combine for sure seeing how this is on of their potential employer's first interviews.