The NBA Draft might not be nearly the seismic media and fan event of the just-concluded NFL Draft, but it's a big draw for diehard hoops watchers. And for the die hards among those die hards there is the NBA Draft combine, which takes place in Chicago on May 15 and 16 and will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.
Before we get to who is in, let's focus on who is out. Top draft prospects Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid have all announced that they will be skipping the combine process. This isn't terribly surprising as all three have pretty firmly established themselves as the top three players in the draft and have little to gain from getting measured and taking part in drills.
Also out are a trio of local players -- University of Michigan's Mitch McGary will miss the combine because he is recovering from back surgery while Michigan State University's Adreian Payne is battling mononucleosis, according to his agent. Payne's MSU teammate Keith Appling, a borderline second-round pick, didn't receive an invitation.
So who's in? Local players making an appearance include Michigan sharpshooter Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III and MSU's two-way wing Gary Harris.
An official list was handed out to media and accounting for the no-shows above it looks as follows:
|Thanasis Antetokounmpo||Delaware (D-League)|
|Jordan Bachynski||Arizona State|
|Cameron Bairstow||New Mexico|
|Alec Brown||Wisconsin Green Bay|
|Markel Brown||Oklahoma State|
|Jahii Carson||Arizona State|
|Aaron Craft||Ohio State|
|Cleanthony Early||Wichita State|
|Melvin Ejim||Iowa State|
|P.J. Hairston||Texas (D-League/UNC|
|Gary Harris||Michigan State|
|DeAndre Kane||Iowa State|
|Alex Kirk||New Mexico|
|James Michael McaAdoo||North Carolina|
|Johnny O'Bryant III||LSU|
|Glenn Robinson III||Michigan|
|LaQuinton Ross||Ohio State|
|Marcus Smart||Oklahoma State|
|Xavier Thames||San Diego State|
|T.J. Warren||North Carolina State|
|Kendall Williams||New Mexico|
Just because a player is on the list, of course, doesn't mean he's going to show up. And just because he shows up doesn't mean he will take part in any of the drills. Some players just prefer to get their official measurements out there and save everything else for individual workouts.
Of the players listed above, ESPN's Chad Ford reports that Randle, Exum, Gordon, Vonleh, Ennis, McDermott and Stauskas are unlikely to participate in drills.
While it's a shame to see so many players in that mid-lottery tier skipping out on drills (Ennis, McDermott and Stauskas), there are still players that Pistons fans should keep an eye on. This includes UCLA's Anderson and LaVine, MSU's Gary Harris, OK State's Marcus Smart and Louisiana-Lafayette's Elfrid Payton.
Players submitting to measurements will be divided into groups by position and then be measured based on height, weight, wingspan, standing reach, body fat percentage and hand size. Players then participate in a series of basketball simulation drills that put their skills to the test, including fasbreaks, weaves, three-on-three scrimmages, set shooting and more.
Players are then tested in a series of drills as outlined by Max Rappaport, the Sixers writer for NBA.com.
Players do as many reps of 185 pounds as they can.
Players are tested on their standing vertical as well as their maximum vertical (with a running start).
Three-Quarters Court Sprint
This drill covers 75 feet and serves as the equivalent of the NFL's 40-yard dash.
Cones are played along the four corners of the key and players move clockwise, then counterclockwise along the path.
The NBA Draft combine will be broadcast on ESPN networks as well as online at Watch ESPN. The combine will be hosted by Chad Ford, Jay Williams, Fran Fraschilla, Tom Penn and Ryen Russillo. The official schedule is as follows:
|Thursday (5/15)||10 a.m. - 1 p.m.||ESPNU||WatchESPN|
|Thursday (5/15)||1 - 3 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
|Friday (5/16)||10 a.m. - 1 p.m.||ESPNU||WatchESPN|
|Friday (5/16)||1 - 3 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|