The NBA Draft Combine 2019 schedule will start up this week, just days after teams learn their lottery fates for the June draft. The Combine will allow NBA prospects to show their skills, participate in interviews, and even give insight into some details teams may not have seen during college scouting.
Among those on the NBA Draft Combine invites list will be none other than projected top pick Zion Williamson along with many others, and some notable absences.
NBA Draft Combine invites list: Zion in, Hunter out
On Tuesday night, is the NBA Draft Lottery event to determine which teams get which picks in the top of the order. They’ll have a decent group of talent to choose from including the highly-coveted Duke star among others. After that lottery, comes the Combine where the prospects get to show teams why they deserve to be drafted with an early pick.
As of last Monday, there were a total of 66 college players listed on the Draft Combine invites list. Among the notable players are Duke’s top stars Zion Williamson, Cam Reddish, and RJ Barrett, along with Ja Morant (Murray State), Jarrett Culver (Texas Tech), Ty Jerome (Virginia), and Bol Bol (Oregon).
Check out the full list below, which arrived on May 8 via multiple sources:
The NBA has announced its list of 66 players for next week's NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, per release. pic.twitter.com/NcHmDK8QLU
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 8, 2019
That invites list included all of the top prospects expected to go in the NBA Draft Lottery, with most of the top 10 projected players.
However, as the week has progressed, that has changed. Draft Express’ tweeted about three players listed above that have decided to withdraw from the NBA Draft Combine. So far, there are no official reasons given for their withdrawal from the multiple day event in Chicago.
DeAndre Hunter, Chuma Okeke and Killian Tillie have withdrawn from the NBA Combine, the league office just informed all 30 teams that they will not be available for interviews tonight. Feel free to start speculating as to why (promises, etc).
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 13, 2019
Of those players, Hunter is considered a top four or five pick on many NBA mock drafts circulating out there. Chuma Okeke is projected to go in the second round and Killian Tillie may go undrafted, according to some analysts or mocks.
Per Sam Amico, Okeke had a season-ending knee injury, so it’s understandable why he might miss the event as he’s expected to miss part of the early NBA season too.
What is the NBA Draft Combine schedule?
The NBA Draft Combine 2019 schedule begins this coming Thursday, May 16 in Chicago, Illinois. It will carry over to Friday, May 17, and fans can watch coverage on television. In particular, it’s clear that “Zion mania” is bringing a lot of hype and publicity with it. Fans will want to get another glimpse of what he’s all about.
Interestingly, it will provide some great insight into a guy who is a true athletic specimen. Zion’s vertical measurement will be particularly interesting to learn about. In addition, as Alex Kennedy mentions, it will give an opportunity for teams to know about his weight and body fat percentage. Those are of concern to see if his frame can handle the wear and tear of a full 82-game schedule.
The NBA draft combine provides Zion Williamson with an opportunity to show off his measureables, and @AlexKennedayNBA says that includes his weight and body-fat percentage, something that has been concerning to some teams. pic.twitter.com/CpLV8zIrVY
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) May 13, 2019
So get ready to see what Zion Williamson and other prospects may have to offer the league in the coming seasons. Set those calendars or smartphone reminders for Thursday and Friday this week. ESPN2 will provide the live telecast for the event on both days for several hours from 3 p.m. through 7 p.m. Eastern Time.