Washington freshman Markelle Fultz is going to next week’s NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, while UCLA’s Lonzo Ball and a handful of potential lottery picks have opted to skip the annual two-day showcase.
Fultz, the presumptive No. 1 overall draft pick, highlights a list of 67 prospects that will attend the May 11-12 combine. However, it’s uncertain how much he’ll participate at that annual pre-draft festivities, which includes medical testing, strength and agility tests, 5-on-5 games and interviews with NBA teams.
Roughly half of the potential lottery picks have declined combine invitations, which continues a trend that began three years ago.
In 2014, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid – who were selected first, second and third, respectively – opted not to attend the combine. In 2015, Karl Anthony-Towns and Jahlil Okafor sat out and were taken first and third, respectively.
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And last year, Ben Simmons skipped the combine before being chosen No. 1 overall.
This year, Ball is one of seven top draft picks who said no to the combine. The others include: Kansas’ Josh Jackson, Duke’s Jayson Tatum, Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen, Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac, North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith, Kentucky’s Malik Monk,
The NBA streamlined the combine several years ago to entice more participation, but the list of no-shows among the top draft picks is growing because they have little to gain from the process and a poor showing could hurt where they’re picked.
Fultz and Kentucky’s De’Arron Fox are the only top-10 prospects expected to attend the combine.
Other Pac-12 players that accepted invitations to the combine include: Arizona’s Rawle Alkins, Kadeem Allen and Kobi Simmons; UCLA’s TJ Leaf, Thomas Welsh and Ike Anigbogu; Oregon’s Jordan Bell, Chris Boucher, Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey; Utah’s Kyle Kuzma; California’s Ivan Rabb and Colorado’s Derrick White.
Gonzaga’s Nigel Williams-Goss and Zach Collins will also participate in the combine.
NCAA rules require players to withdraw their names from the draft by May 24 or forfeit remaining eligibility. The NBA draft is June 22.
Here’s the list of NBA Draft Combine participants.
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