The NBA Draft Combine is a recent creation by the league that allows all teams to get an up-close look at draft prospects. It involves athletic tests, individual interviews with the players, many different drills, and even full five-on-five scrimmages.
Getting top prospects to attend and participate has been a struggle as many believe it will do more harm to their draft stock than good, but there are always some exceptions. This year they come in the form of Washington’s Markelle Fultz and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, both Fultz and Fox are among those officially listed to attend the Draft Combine in Chicago:
NBA will have 67 players at next week's draft combine in Chicago. Thursday and Friday — 2-6 PM CT on ESPN2. Here's the list: pic.twitter.com/UXqh3JbSL6
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 5, 2017
Both players attending doesn’t mean that they will be participating in everything. It is very possible, likely even, that they will only attend and do team interviews or maybe some athletic tests. Nonetheless, just being in Chicago is more than other top prospects have chosen to do.
UCLA’s Lonzo Ball is the biggest name who won’t be attending the combine, but he isn’t the only one. Kansas forward Josh Jackson, Duke forward Jayson Tatum, Kentucky guard Malik Monk, and Arizona center Lauri Markkanen will all skip the combine as well.
Fultz is currently rated by many as the top overall prospect in the draft. He has no glaring weaknesses in his game and projects to be a future star in this league. Fox is hovering around the top-five and was probably the fastest player in college basketball. He is also a point guard, but there are questions about his jumper.
The Lakers will certainly be in attendance getting a good look at a number of potential prospects. Of course, they still don’t know where exactly they will be picking in the draft and won’t until they find out the fate of their top-3 protected draft pick at the NBA Draft Lottery on May 16.