Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
There probably isn't going to be anything traditional about this year's NBA Draft. As we saw with the NFL and WNBA drafts this month, the standard ceremony and celebration around them has been altered by the coronavirus crisis.
So the 2020 NBA Draft -- whenever it takes place -- will likely look much different than in years past.
The league's pre-draft process has already been altered.
The NBA and NBPA have said that teams can't conduct in-person workouts prior to the draft. Agencies also can't host team execs at group workouts. Teams can't request video workouts of players; they're limited to two hours of phone/video call interviews with each player per week and four hours total.
TCU's Desmond Bane -- one of the top shooters in the draft and a strong defender -- has already started the new pre-draft process. He's talked to over a third of the teams in the league already over video conference calls while working out in Miami (and practicing social distancing). Below, Bane, a 6-6 guard/forward, talks about that process, training under social distancing guidelines and how he can help an NBA team.
(As an aside: Bane has been followed closely by every NBA team during the college season, including, according to an NCAA source, the Knicks and Nets).
What has it been like to go on video call interviews with teams?
BANE: It's been good. It's not been as bad as I thought it would be. Doing things online can sometimes come with (technical) issues. But everything's really been smooth. I've been able to get to know these GMs and scouts from teams and they've been able to get to figure out a little bit about me and who I am.
What do you hope to get across to teams in the conversations?
BANE: I want people to know what type of competitor they're getting, my professional approach and how hard I work on and off the floor -- whether it be my diet, sleep or simply my training regimen. (I want them to know) how I approach the game. I really want to get that across to teams.
How do you think the lack of in-person workouts will impact the process for you?
BANE: Obviously, when you're in a workout, you can show your grit. I think that's what teams are looking for - to see how you respond to adversity and how hard you work, up close and personal. They've watched us play all year long and they've seen a lot of film on us so I don't know how much that really matters. (But) they want to see your motor and what kind of person you are (during in-person workouts). It obviously hurts not having that, but I think there will still be an effective process and players will get their correct evaluations.
Does the competitor in you wish you had the chance to play against others in your draft class in team workouts?
BANE: No question. It's one thing to tell teams what type of person, what type of competitor you are. But it's another thing to actually show it and put it in play.
You chose Seth Cohen and SAC Sports Family as your agent. What led to that decision?
BANE: Honestly, just the relationship I had. They took a lot of time to get to know me and my family and that meant a lot to me and that ultimately led me to sign with them.
Why was family an important factor for you in that process?
BANE: It's been something I valued my whole life. My family has been in my corner every step of the way and Seth taking the time to get to know them and get to know me as a person really meant a lot to me.
Since teams will be relying heavily on games they've scouted and game tape in their evaluations, what do you hope to show teams who are evaluating your games this season?
BANE: I want to be known as somebody that's accountable, somebody you can count on -- whether it be to make a shot or get a rebound, defend, whatever it may be. Somebody who can strengthen a rotation right away and help a team win games. Hopefully, a playoff contending team or a team that's continuing to get better. Whoever it may be, I just want to step into a rotation and help out right away.
What do you want the NBA fan who isn't familiar with your game to know about you?
BANE: I want them to know that I have skills and can do things that can help an NBA team right now, whether it be at the back end of a rotation, the top end of a rotation, spending some time in the G League - I'm going to do it all with a smile on my face and be a great teammate, which is the most important thing. Building that team chemistry and team camaraderie with the program and the organization (is important).
Most players talk about the NBA game having more space than the college game. Do you think there are things you can do with more space on the court?
BANE: I think (regarding) space (on the court), I'm pretty athletic, pretty explosive. The college game, it's more compact and there's not as much room to operate. Given that space (in the NBA), I'll be able to show that I'm a better vertical, straight line athlete at the next level.
What have workouts in Miami at the SAC Family facility been like?
(Note: Bane drove 19 hours from Texas to Miami to work out at the agency, which has a training staff led by SAC head trainer Ronnie Taylor).
BANE: We've been going about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day with rehab and recovery taking about an hour a day. And then we're on court for an hour and a half, we do strength and conditioning (for) an hour and a half, and then I'll come back a few hours later and go through my shooting routine that I do every day.
How has social distancing impacted your training?
BANE: Obviously you can't really train in larger groups or do five-on-five or three-on-three sessions. But I've obviously still been able to get in sessions with my trainer to improve my game.
What do you think about ending up in New York with the Knicks or Nets?
BANE: It would be a blessing to be able to play in a historic place like the Garden or for an up-an-coming team like the Nets. It would mean a lot to me and a lot to my family. I think it would provide good opportunities for me on and off the court, given the type of person I am and how I want to make an impact at the next level.