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Mason Plumlee pulls out of NBA draft combine

Today is the start of the NBA Draft Combine, but not even the lone healthy Blue Devil draft hopeful will be participating in drills.

According to ESPN's Chad Ford, Plumlee will only go through medical testing and conduct interviews.

Others who won't be doing drills include Lehigh's C.J. McCollum, Indiana's Cody Zeller and Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams, all of whom are lottery hopefuls.

Though Plumlee won't be doing drills, Ford did get to see Plumlee in Chicago a few days ago, and came away impressed.

In a piece for ESPN, Ford notes that scouts aren't in love with Plumlee, but Ford himself is very high on the Duke big man.

Plumlee is 23, and for NBA teams, that's akin to having an infectious disease. Despite his improvements on the court, scouts have been reluctant to put him back into the top 10. I understand the hesitation because of his age. Virtually every advanced metric says age is a strong predictor of NBA success or failure. But with Plumlee, I'm not so sure.

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For Ford, Plumlee's biggest asset, just like older brother Miles, is his athleticism.

Athletically, Plumlee is among the top two or three big men in the draft. Nerlens Noel is the only player who clearly looks bouncier. However, there are things Plumlee can do that no other big in this draft can. He has great hands, can catch and finish on the run and plays with power in the post.

Ford notes that Plumlee's lack of length, uninspiring shot blocking, and "work-in-progress" jumper have scared off teams. Though scouts are afraid, Plumlee's agent, Mark Bartelstein, is not concerned with his client's draft stock.

Plumlee's agent, Mark Bartelstein, is fairly certain Plumlee is a top-10 pick, maybe even top-five. Bartelstein is so certain that he's pulling Plumlee out of the drills portion of the draft combine Thursday.

I'm not sure I see him going that high. I know most of the scouts I talk to don't. However, Bartelstein has a point. If a team wants an athletic big, how can they really pass on him?

Although he is not participating in drills, Plumlee's draft stock can improve this weekend based on his interviews with interested teams and the performances of his fellow big men. A lot can change before the draft takes place, as the draft order has yet to even be determined. Plumlee can safely expect to hear his name called in the first round, but what pick is still very much up for debate.

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