PORTSMOUTH, Va. -- Two years removed from participating in the 2017 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT), San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White dropped 36 points on the Denver Nuggets in the NBA playoffs this week, a stark reminder for all 30 NBA teams present about the possibilities that might be uncovered.
The grandfather of NBA pre-draft showcases (dating to 1953), the all-NCAA senior camp is a throwback that can be maligned but continues to churn out rotation players year after year. Jimmy Butler, Robert Covington, Wesley Matthews, Aron Baynes, Richaun Holmes, J.J. Barea, DeMarre Carroll and Kent Bazemore are among the recent alumni still playing NBA games.
The introduction of the G League Elite Camp this year created a degree of uncertainty among PIT organizers, agents and potential prospects about how Portsmouth will be perceived by NBA executives and the league office in the hierarchy of the pre-draft process moving forward, and whether this camp might be on its last legs. In the past, five PIT participants were guaranteed invites to the NBA combine, which created incentive for seniors projected to land in the second round or go undrafted to attend and attempt to play their way to Chicago. This year, no such guarantee was in place, and no one really knows what the breakdown will look like for the G League camp. How many seniors will be invited, and will the league reward those who elected to attend PIT?
A number of seniors who aren't locks to be drafted -- including Zylan Cheatham, Justin Wright-Foreman, Dean Wade, Robert Franks, Cody Martin, Caleb Martin, Ethan Happ and Tacko Fall -- decided to turn down invites, betting on the fact that they will get to Chicago one way or another.
Nevertheless, there is always value in playing well in front of a huge contingent of NBA scouts and executives, and the PIT assembled the usual solid group of participants.
A number of players separated themselves from the group of 64 participants over the course of four days, some of whom likely will be drafted on June 20. Here are the biggest standouts: