Robert Upshaw flagged at combine for heart issue, has suspended workouts

Washington center Robert Upshaw has an issue with his heart and has suspended all workouts and training until it is resolved, according to a report from Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.

Upshaw’s agent Bill Duffy released a statement through DraftExpress:

“Robert and his family have been fully aware of his medical history. Twice previously this was addressed by highly respected University Cardiologists and Robert was subsequently cleared for all basketball activities. The NBA Combine Doctors are now waiting for the results of a final test, which will be known in a week’s time. For good reason, we take this very seriously and support the physicians doing their due diligence. Based on the outcome of previous evaluations, we expect his full clearance. Robert’s health comes first and the progress he was making prior to this break in activity was exceptional. We are confident once his training is resumed he’ll continue to be in a really good position going forward.”

Givony went on to note that “no long-term conclusions have been reached” regarding the nature of the condition or its origin.

Upshaw’s draft stock was already in a pretty precarious position due to being thrown off of his college teams at both Washington and Fresno State, with some NBA folk considering him undraftable as it was due to those issues. This kind of flag will only further exacerbate matters, even if he is cleared to continue workouts and play in the NBA.

It’s a real shame that Upshaw has all of these potential red flags, because without them he would undeniably be a lottery-level talent due to the NBA’s premium on rim protection. His 17.1 percent block-rate would have led the entire nation this season had he qualified minutes-wise, and his 7.2 blocks-per-40 minutes dwarf that of the second-place prospect on my top-100 board in blocks-per-40, Myles Turner, at 4.7.

Hopefully, everything checks out and Upshaw ends up well — especially given that it seems he’s been cleared before by doctors regarding it. But even so, it’s getting harder and harder to see a team plunking down guaranteed money to Upshaw by picking him in the first round.

Robert Upshaw's already murky draft stock just got cloudier. (USATSI)
Robert Upshaw’s already murky draft stock just got cloudier. (USATSI)


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