Jock Doc

As the NBA Draft approaches, a look at how players are evaluated

Miami Heat vice president Alonzo Mourning checks his cell phone before NBA basketball draft lottery, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in New York.
Miami Heat vice president Alonzo Mourning checks his cell phone before NBA basketball draft lottery, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in New York. AP

Q. I know the NBA draft is coming up soon. Do the potential players get a physical prior to the draft? If an athlete has medical problems, is this shared with the team and would this affect whether the player is drafted?

A. The NBA identifies the top 60 to 80 players who are likely to be taken in each year’s draft. These players are invited to Chicago for the Combine, where physicals are performed at Northwestern University Medical Center. Each player receives an extensive physical exam, which includes an orthopedic exam, cardiology exam, ECG, Echocardiogram, stress test, bloodwork, body fat analysis, urinalysis, X-rays and MRI scans where indicated.

After these tests are completed, each NBA team physician will examine the players for their exam and analysis of the data. These findings are then discussed with team managment, trainers and scouts. Healthy athletes and players with orthopedic and medical problems are identified. At the time of the draft, the management will then decide whether it is appropriate to draft the best player that is right for their team.

Dr. Harlan Selesnick is team physician of the Miami Heat and director of Miami Sports Medicine Fellowship, Doctors Hospital. Send your questions to HarlanS@baptisthealth.net.

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