Reportedly, the Phoenix Suns will be scouting both players and coaches this weekend. The Chicago NBA Draft Combine pulls together all the who's who and who-wants-to-be's of the NBA into one place (unless you're a blogger who's working for free).
New Suns GM Ryan McDonough has brought an inherited Suns entourage to Chicago with him, not yet dotted with any of his own peeps. Judging by how the Suns have evaluated players the last few years, we can only hope that McDonough is the jack-of-all-trades he's reported to be.
McDonough not only has to pick out two diamonds from the rough (a top-7 pick and a #30 overall) of these draft-eligible players, he has to find a new coach as well.
While McDonough will likely talk to several potential coaches this weekend, don't expect any hirings to happen until more teams are eliminated from the NBA playoffs. One of Mike Malone (Golden State) or Mike Budenholzer (San Antonio) will be busy for at least two more weeks. Brian Shaw (Indiana) could be busy for another month himself. The Suns coaching list could easily contain assistants on the HEAT or Grizzlies as well.
Other candidates, such as Jeff Hornacek and Nate McMillan and J.B. Bickerstaff, are already available and may have already gotten interviews with McDonough, but we have no idea. Nothing's leaked to the media yet.
Keep your ears open
Measurements will tell us just how small Victor Oladipo and Trey Burke are, while athletic drills will tell just how un-athletic Shabazz Muhammad is. Those results are crtiical to the early draft evaluation process.
Other than that, NBA front offices get a chance to interview players for the first time. In these interviews, you get a feel for the kind of person they are. It's your first chance to glimpse their inner being, their true self.
McDonough and staff will be busy with all 61 players this weekend. They currently have picks at the top of round one, the bottom of round one and the last third of round two. That's the most picks the Suns have had in years. And that's only if they stay exactly where they are today. Remember in 2006, the Celtics loved Rajon Rondo so much they acquired the Suns #21 pick to take him after watching him drop.
Every single player here counts and might just be drafted by the Suns in June.
Keep your eyes open and ears tuned to the news.