The N.B.A. announced last month that the draft combine would take place virtually and in team’s home markets. ESPN, citing a league-distributed memo, reported last week that teams would be allowed up to 10 visits with draft-eligible players for in-person evaluations.
Of course, one can only train for so many hours a day. Devin Vassell, the former Florida State star, is binge-watching “Stranger Things” and “Fargo.” After his final workout of the day, Haliburton typically catches up with friends or plays cards with his family, the choice games being Uno and Phase 10.
“I just started reading,” he added with a laugh. “I know my English teachers will love to hear that, but I started reading a little bit, give me something to do. Then I got a gaming computer during quarantine, so I’ve been learning how to do a lot of different things on the computer.”
Vassell, like Haliburton, moved back home. “All the places that I work out at are probably about 10 minutes away from the house,” he said. “It’s kept me grounded and humble while I’ve been here.”
Nothing has been normal about this pre-draft process. Some things, though, will be the same.
Sixty players will soon have their names called in the two rounds on draft night, their professional careers starting in earnest, a dream worked into fruition, even if it’s solidified through a video conference and not a handshake from N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver.
“It’s a dream walking across that stage and shaking his hand, putting that hat on, of course, but I think when you get that phone call and your name is called, you still get that experience of a dream coming true,” Vassell said.