Markelle Fultz among 67 players to attend NBA Draft combine, other top names to skip

1 Comment

On May 11-12, 67 NBA hopefuls will pour into a gym in Chicago to be measured, tested, interviewed, and do what they can to impress the NBA scouts and GMs in attendance.

Markelle Fultz, the likely No. 1 pick, will be there. The point guard almost certainly will not get on the court, but he will get measured and interviewed.

Other expected guys to go in the Top 5 are not showing up — Lonzo Ball of UCLA, Josh Jackson of Kansas, and Jayson Tatum of Duke all declined their invitations. That’s the norm now (both in the NBA and NFL), agents for these picks see only downsides to being poked and prodded at these events, so everyone stays away. Credit to Fultz for agreeing to show up at all.

Here is the list of invitees:

Adebayo, Edrice (Kentucky)
Alkins, Rawle (Arizona)
Allen, Jarrett (Texas)
Allen, Kadeem (Arizona)
Anigbogu, Ike (UCLA)
Anunoby, OG (Indiana)
Artis, Jamel (Pittsburgh)
Bacon, Dwayne (Florida State)
Beachem, V.J. (Notre Dame)
Bell, Jordan (Oregon)
Blossomgame, Jaron (Clemson)
Boucher, Chris (Oregon)
Bradley, Tony (North Carolina)
Briscoe, Isaiah (Kentucky)
Brooks, Dillon (Oregon)
Bryant, Thomas (Indiana)
Collins, John (Wake Forest)
Collins, Zach (Gonzaga)
Diallo, Hamidou (Kentucky)
Dorsey, Tyler (Oregon)
Dotson, Damyean (Houston)
Dozier, PJ (South Carolina)
Evans, Jawun (Oklahoma State)
Ferguson, Terrance (Australia)
Fox, De’Aaron (Kentucky)
Fultz, Markelle (Washington)
Giles, Harry (Duke)
Hart, Josh (Villanova)
Hayes, Nigel (Wisconsin)
Hicks, Isaiah (North Carolina)
Iwundu, Wesley (Kansas State)
Jackson, Frank (Duke)
Jackson, Justin (North Carolina)
Jackson, Justin (Maryland)
Jeanne, Jonathan (France)
Jok, Peter (Iowa)
Jones, Andrew (Texas)
Kennard, Luke (Duke)
Kuzma, Kyle (Utah)
Leaf, TJ (UCLA)
Lydon, Tyler (Syracuse)
Mason III, Frank (Kansas)
Meeks, Kennedy (North Carolina)
Mika, Eric (BYU)
Mitchell, Donovan (Louisville)
Morris, Monte (Iowa State)
Motley, Johnathan (Baylor)
Mykhailiuk, Svi (Kansas)
Ojeleye, Semi (SMU)
Oliver, Cameron (Nevada)
Patton, Justin (Creighton)
Peters, Alec (Valparaiso)
Rabb, Ivan (California)
Reed, Davon (Miami, FL.)
Robinson, Devin (Florida)
Simmons, Kobi (Arizona)
Sumner, Edmond (Xavier)
Swanigan, Caleb (Purdue)
Thornwell, Sindarius (South Carolina)
Trimble, Melo (Maryland)
Wagner, Moritz (Michigan)
Walton Jr., Derrick (Michigan)
Welsh, Thomas (UCLA)
White, Derrick (Colorado)
Williams-Goss, Nigel (Gonzaga)
Wilson, D.J. (Michigan)
Yurtseven, Omer (North Carolina St.)

There are a lot of underclassmen and not a lot of seniors on that list. Part of that is this is considered a weak senior class (the good players already went pro) but also it’s a change in the system. The NCAA used to require that players declare whether they were in or out of the draft well before the combine, but the organization finally changed it so that these young players can now get honest feedback from teams about where they might actually land in a draft, then they can back out (so long as they don’t hire an agent). That’s a good thing. Too many players got bad advice from family, friends, hangers-on, AAU coaches, or others trying to profit off them, now those players can go to teams and get a dose of reality. A lot of underclassmen are taking advantage of it.