North Carolina State’s C.J. Leslie – ESPN’s No. 47 NBA Draft prospect and DraftExpress’ No. 33 NBA Draft prospect – won’t participate in basketball drills at the NBA Combine due to a “minor sprained shooting hand,” according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
Leslie will participate in some athletic testing and interviews with team executives.
Leslie’s right hand is expected to be fully healed to work out individually for teams in the near future.
Maybe Leslie is too injured to participate in basketball drills, but maybe not. Leslie is an elite athlete, but he’s not quite as advanced on the court. His PER last season ranked just 59th among the 75 college players in Draft Express’ top 100 prospects. It’s possible Leslie (or his agent) is just playing to his (or his client’s) strengths by showing off his athleticism and not exposing his on-court deficiencies, and if so, that’s within his rights.
It’s up to the teams to determine Leslie’s value, not necessarily for Leslie to prove himself to them. If history is a guide, at least one team will be tempted in the first round by Leslie’s upside – especially if he doesn’t provide any new reasons to doubt him.