I’ve tossed Talor Battle’s future around in my head for a while. On one hand it seems pretty straight forward that you’d want to see him get drafted. It is after all the goal of the draft, to be drafted. That being said, when a draft only lasts 2 rounds, getting left out isn’t really a big deal.
Why? As a free agent Battle will have a lot more options to work with. Without any sort of contract to negotiate or team to try out for, Battle can shop around the league for a team that could use him. While being drafted can make that process easier, in the long haul, a player looking to prove himself might have more success as a free agent.
Last night Battle’s journey took another turn after he was omitted from the 2011 NBA Combine invite list. While on the surface this seems to be a pretty big blow for a guy already facing long odds it isn’t really any indication that he won’t make it onto a roster. It is worth mentioning that the NBA Combine is essentially a way for scouts and GMs to take one last look at potential picks before the draft comes around. Many of these scouts who will be attending the combine were already in attendance for the Portsmouth Invitational, an event Battle did participate in.
The combine has been scaled back to essentially a non-contact shoot around plus an interview process for teams with selected players. The combine is closed to media (aside from ESPN).
As far as Battle’s overall stock. That is still up for debate. Battle’s lacking size and NBA consistent shooting might keep him from making a roster although he has all of the tools that could grow him into a key contributor as Ehud Knoll from CollegeInsider pointed out.
For those of you who don’t watch the NBA playoffs, JJ Barea a Guard for the Dallas Mavericks who only comes in at 6 feet 175 pounds was able to drive to the basket with ease against a Laker defense that wasn’t sure how to handle Barea’s speed and agility. If teams start looking for smaller, quicker, crafty players around the basket, this could be Battle’s chance. While in the end it seems more likely Battle will end up playing in Europe, a completely legitimate career in its own right, Talor Battle’s chances in the NBA are far from over. As always, we wish him the best.