Milwaukee Bucks director of scouting Billy McKinney spoke to the media following Tuesday’s pre-draft workout at the team’s practice facility. While the workout included six likely second-round prospects, McKinney spoke about his experience watching Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker – both very much in play for the Bucks at No. 2 overall – over the past week.
“We saw a lot of players over the last several days,” McKinney said, noting Embiid and Parker, specifically. “There was some rumor going around at the pre-draft camp that Jabari Parker had gained 20 to 25 pounds. And that’s kind of gamesmanship of the draft; he looked fantastic, from a physical standpoint.”
Parker, along with several other top prospects, including Embiid and Marcus Smart, is preparing for the draft in Los Angeles. His physique and conditioning were concerns during his lone season at Duke, but McKinney’s words seem to dispel any rumors that Parker is out of shape with less than a month remaining before the draft. This video, presumably one of the workouts McKinney witnessed, certainly backs that up.
Of course, it’s important to note that these workout videos are usually edited to exclude misses (can’t imagine why), but it’s easy to see why Parker probably won’t fall past the third pick.
McKinney was also impressed with Embiid’s workout, noting that his troublesome back did not appear to be an issue.
“Embiid went through the entire workout,” McKinney said. “It didn’t appear that there were any signs of issues with his back, which of course will continue to be investigated as we go into the draft.”
A stress fracture in Embiid’s back caused him to miss the final portion of his freshman season at Kansas. And although he’s healthy now, a big man with back issues is always a long-term concern. Barring substantial medical evidence indicating he’s liability, though, Embiid will almost certainly hear his name called in the top three.
Embiid’s recent workout was equally impressive as Parker’s, with the big man showcasing a nice repertoire of post moves and an improved mid-range game.