The Pitt basketball season has been over for some time. But there's still some amount of intrigue left for players from last year's team, if you can believe that.
The NBA Draft will be held on June 22nd this year and while a Pitt player being selected might be somewhat of a long shot, both Jamel Artis and Michael Young may be in the conversation as potential late picks among some teams holding them.
The NBA apparently believes at least one of them is, anyway.
ICYMI from last week, Artis was invited to the NBA Combine. Artis was one of 67 players chosen to attend the event. Fellow senior and the ACC's leading scorer Michael Young will not be there. The entire event starts on May 9 and runs through May 15 but the drills/games appear to be on the 11th and 12th.
If you're not aware of what the NBA Combine is, you're not alone since it's not nearly the event that the NFL Combine is. But in a nutshell, players go through a variety of measuring, strength and agility drills, and interviews. It's a little different from the NFL version in that GMs and scouts will actually see what the players can do in 5-on-5 games.
The event can be an important one for sure. You might remember that Steven Adams was invited a few years back and turned in an incredible performance, sending his stock through the roof in part because a crazy good jump shot. Adams actually was selected in the NBA Lottery portion of the draft and that performance likely helped a great deal.
Some players skip the 5-on-5 stuff but I don't think Artis should be doing that. He is an above-average passer and has the ability to hit long range shots so his skills can actually stand out quite well in real competition. His stock isn't really high enough that hurting it should be a concern and playing in the games could really benefit him.
Almost as critical in my opinion will be the interviews. Coaches will no doubt want to hear about the dumpster fire that was Pitt basketball this year as well as the conflicts with the players and coach Kevin Stallings. Artis will need to do quite a bit of selling of himself not only on the court, but in the interview process as well if he hopes to be selected.
Also, keep in mind that this isn't only about being picked. Sure, that's the focal point and what the players will want. But even if Artis isn't selected, having a good Combine will convince teams to give him a good look in the summer leagues. Artis should end up in a summer league if he wants to regardless of the Combine. But a strong performance could earn him more minutes and more of a look in those games.