The NBA Draft Combine will be held next week in Chicago and Reggie Bullock has received an invitation to attend. Bullock, who is a teetering between the first and second rounds, this is a opportunity to impress the right team. And if he really performs well, it is possible he could climb a few spots.
The full list can be found here at CBS Sports. Bullock will be joined by Duke's Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee though only the latter one of the trio is actually healthy enough to fully participate. NC State's Richard Howell, Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie also received invites as did Maryland's Alex Len and Miami's Shane Larkin.
The combine list comes on the Heels of an interesting Roy Williams quote from Inside Carolina expressing "concern" over Bullock's draft prospects.
“We’ve had 12 guys leave early and all of them have been with my blessing, but I was more concerned and am more concerned about Reggie,” Williams told a Tar Heel Tour crowd at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center on Thursday. “I deal with them straight forward. I don’t mess around. I tell them exactly what I think. I didn’t think that was the best thing for Reggie to do, but that’s what he wanted to do.”
“I’m hoping that one team will pick him in the first round,” Williams said. “I’m more worried about Reggie than I have been any of those other guys, but gosh, what a great, great kid. I hope it does really work out for him. But he is the one that I said, ‘Reggie, I don’t think this is the smartest thing to do.’ But, again, that’s what the youngster wanted to do.”
Williams tends to operate on the assumption that if you are not a bona fide first rounder then you should come back to school. Bullock did not even show up in the first round of various mock drafts until the time it was announced he would leave Chapel Hill. I imagine whatever intelligence Williams gathered from the NBA on Bullock reflected that borderline first round thinking. In that respect concern is warranted and to some extent Williams is looking out for Bullock's best interest in advising him to stay.
That being said, the counter to all of that is the question of whether Bullock can even improve his stock from this season to the next. Is there something Bullock will add to his game that will impress NBA scouts more? There is also a question of Bullock's role next season. With P.J. Hairston ready to explode as a full season starter and James Michael McAdoo needing a productive year, Bullock would probably see fewer touches. That is not to say Hairston or McAdoo are going to be selfish but simply more assertive. Bullock, by the nature of his personality. would be content to let those two take the lead but in doing so, his draft stock wouldn't improve that much. The bottom line is Bullock would probably be in the same place next year as he is right now in terms of draft stock. Given his family situation, going to the NBA is decision he felt he needed to make.
It is still a risky move and to echo Williams, I really hope it works out well for a quality young man like Bullock.