Rick Bonnell: You are going to hear a lot in the next f…

Rick Bonnell: You are going to hear a lot in the next few days about NBA draft prospects receiving Combine invitations. Important context: The NBA has not yet rescheduled the Combine, and is still wrestling with how or if one can be held. Very much TBD.

More on Draft Combine

Bryan Kalbrosky: Baylor's Jared Butler has received an invite to the '20 NBA Draft Combine, per source. @J_Hooper11 currently has until Aug. 3 to decide if he will remain in this class or potentially return for another season in the NCAA. Full interview: bit.ly/333awil (via @HoopsHypea)
Bryan Kalbrosky: Illinois star Ayo Dosunmu has received an invitation to the 2020 NBA Draft Combine, per source. Awesome timing, as I published my interview with @AyoDos_11 on @HoopsHype earlier today. Full interview: bit.ly/2Ddd5Dh
Bryan Kalbrosky: BYU's Yoeli Childs has officially received an invitation to the 2020 NBA Draft Combine, per source. Childs became the first player in BYU history to score 2,000 points and record 1,000 rebounds. My full interview with @yochilds22 on @HoopsHype: bit.ly/3bIDxjW #NBA
Bryan Kalbrosky: Penn State's Lamar Stevens has received an invite to the 2020 NBA Draft Combine. @LamarStevens11: "I would definitely stand out in the vertical and speed tests. I tested last summer and I had a 42-inch vertical." Full interview on @HoopsHype: bit.ly/2y53hsW #NBA
Bryan Kalbrosky: Charleston's Grant Riller has officially received an invitation to the 2020 NBA Combine. Here is what Riller told @HoopsHype: "I want people to know that I’m ready." My full interview with the @CofCBasketball star: bit.ly/3cuihzn #NBA
The list of potential combine participants was created based on votes from NBA teams. If the list is cut to 70, that would also be determined by a vote from front offices. Here is the list of 105 players, obtained by USA TODAY Sports Media Group’s Bryan Kalbrosky. Note that there are 104 players listed; Maker Makur was not included, as he committed to Howard in early July.
As the NBA continues to ramp up its restart inside the bubble on the campus of the Walt Disney World Resort, the league continues to move toward the resumption of its offseason. The memo informed teams of the 105 players that received the most votes to be included in the league's annual combine -- a number that will eventually be whittled down to the 70 players who will take part in it. The combine, which typically takes place in Chicago in mid-May in concert with the draft lottery, still hasn't been officially re-scheduled, but the league said in the memo that it is still evaluating potential dates and formats to hold the event.
Speaking of the combine, league sources have characterized the possibilities for the combine as fluid. The feeling is that the league does want to have some sort of in-person combine. Particularly, the league itself and team personnel want access to players’ medical information. That has always been the most important part of the combine, but it’s heightened even more this year because teams are unlikely to have players into their own facilities. In a memo the league released in early April, NBA team personnel may not conduct or attend any workout of any draft-eligible player in any location until further notice.
Per league sources, there’s an ongoing push within the NBA to hold some iteration of the draft combine, which would take place after the Aug. 25 lottery, most likely some time in September. The event is held annually in Chicago, a convenient central location for teams and players, and could still take place there, pending shifting health and safety circumstances amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nothing has been set in stone yet, with the league’s primary focus having centered on the initial return to play. Given how complicated it’s been for the NBA to set up and negotiate the logistics for the Orlando site, it’s kind of hard to see the combine taking place within that bubble. That situation is still evolving. But there are some feasible pathways to safely conducting a limited version of the combine, while minimizing close-quarters contact and still benefitting all parties.
The prevailing thought I’ve heard from teams in recent weeks is that the on-court portion, which typically includes individual drills and five-on-five play, seems likely (and, frankly, logically) to be limited, if it exists at all. The primary objective of a centralized combine would be to conduct player medicals and measurements, providing all 30 teams a common data set.
It seems feasible that the league could safely allow players to participate in athletic testing and shooting drills, as well. All of the above could take place digitally in a relatively short time span. Teams can benefit from the information without needing to physically attend. And for what it’s worth, several executives I’ve spoken with see minimal value in having prospects play five-on-five after a six-month hiatus from competitive play.
Jeremy Woo: As I understand it, there’s a level of hope that the NBA will still be able to hold the draft combine. Would take place at some point after the Aug. 25 lottery, may not happen until September. Conducting player medicals and measurements would (predictably) be the key components.
The road to being an NBA standout has been far from easy for Covington, as he recently discussed on an episode of Next Level Leaders with Dr. Joseph Walker, III. “There were so many people that told me I couldn’t do this that it made me want to do it even more because I wanted to prove them wrong,” said Covington. “I didn’t get invited [to the NBA Draft Combine] at first. I found out through Twitter that I had gotten invited because some people had dropped out. I ended up going to the combine and that’s where I started to turn heads. I put my name right back out there.”
While the league also indefinitely postponed the combine, it is still moving forward with the hopes of holding it at some point later this year, sources said. Last week, it sent a memo to teams asking them to vote for up to 70 players from a provided list of potential invites to the combine, just as they have in the past. In the memo, which was seen by ESPN, the league said that once it does decide on a scheduled format, player will then be invited to participate.
With the NBA increasingly optimistic about a return to play this summer, the NBA Draft Combine could potentially take place in Las Vegas or Orlando, sources said. Chicago is also an option, sources said. The NBA on May 1 announced the postponement of NBA Draft Lottery 2020 and NBA Draft Combine 2020, both of which were scheduled to take place in Chicago. “If there is a combine it will probably be in Chicago or Las Vegas or Orlando if that is where they are going to have the teams play if there is a season,” one NBA executive said.
Marc Berman: The NBA announces no combine, which we knew, and postponement of Draft Lottery. Both in Chicago. Draft still on June 25th for now. NBA "continues to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic and consult with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government"
Steve Kyler: Based on what I have heard from teams -- they can conduct virtual meetings with draft prospects, which could include filmed virtual workout sessions or tape. There is also a belief that some kind of Combine event could take place but designed to be one-at-a-time type evaluations
An NBA official said no final decisions have been made on the lottery or combine. If the regular season is canceled, the Knicks would hold the sixth-best odds in the lottery at 21-45. That gives them a nine percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick and a 27.5 percent chance of a top-three pick. There’s also a scenario of falling to No. 10.
It should come as little surprise, then, that LaVar Ball began laying the groundwork for LaMelo to sit out of the combine. In an interview with Forbes’ Pat Benson, LaVar was non-committal when asked if LaMelo would take part in the Draft Combine. “I don’t know if he’s going to do the draft combine because I think he’s done enough. He’s proved enough on the court already. Now it’s just finding a good team, actually, a good coach who’s going to believe in him. That’s the main thing.”
“We’re trying to help these young kids become better players,” Del Negro said of the close to 70 combine attendees. “Give them some knowledge and experience. I think the staff is doing a great job.” Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s vice president of basketball operations, asked Del Negro to serve as the combine director this year. The job involves overseeing coaches, helping assemble teams and formulating strategies.
A sprained calf kept Jordan Nwora from participating in drills or 5-on-5 games at the combine. Instead of playing, Nwora is meeting with teams at the combine in advance of setting up individual workouts in the 10 days between the end of the combine and the NCAA's May 29 deadline to make a decision on whether to stay in the draft. The injury has only added to the uncertainty about his final decision.
"I’m still 50-50," Nwora said. "Just going to be the feedback I’m getting. Obviously, I wasn’t able to play this week, I wanted to play really badly. It happens. I should be good to start doing stuff next week, work out a little. If I hear what I want to hear, I’ll stay and if not I’ll go back to school."
Eric Woodyard: Kentucky’s Tyler Herro and Louisville’s Jordan Nwora both confirmed that they interviewed with Utah Jazz brass during the combine. Brewster Academy’s Jalen Lecque didn’t compete today, but did speak to the Jazz earlier.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Guard Jalen Lecque of Brewster Academy (NH) has decided against playing today at the NBA Combine based on feedback to his family, per source. Lecque’s athleticism was certainly evident for NBA executives on Thursday.
Shams Charania: Projected high lottery pick Coby White of UNC has left the NBA Draft Combine, interviewing for some teams before departing, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
While dozens of NBA hopefuls were showcasing their on-court talents Thursday afternoon at the Draft Combine in Chicago, Kendrick Perkins was exhibiting his skills on the sideline in his first coaching gig. The former Boston Celtics center spent the day dishing out advice to the prospects, encouraging them during drills, and providing assistance from the sideline during one of the two 5-on-5 scrimmages that took place on the center court at Quest Multisport Complex.
Coaching is an avenue that Perkins has been considering since retiring from the NBA one year ago, and Thursday’s experience only reinforced his desire. “Whenever you’re able to drop knowledge on young kids that are trying to fulfill a lifelong dream, it’s always a pleasure,” Perkins said Thursday evening after wrapping up Day 1 of the Combine. “But I’m just trying to get my feet wet as far as with the coaching and trying to get as much experience as I can, and I think it’s turning out well.”

https://twitter.com/ScottAgness/status/1129448997612118018
Eric Woodyard: The Utah Jazz conducted 10 pre-draft interviews yesterday in Chicago during the first day of the NBA Combine, according to a Deseret News source. Utah will pick 23 and 53 in the draft.
Chase Hughes: The Wizards will meet with forward Brandon Clarke of Gonzaga at this week's NBA Combine, NBC Sports has learned. Clarke is 6-8 and averaged 16.9 ppg and 8.6 rpg as a junior this past season.
Tim Reynolds: Zion Williamson will not be the NBA Combine events that start tomorrow. He's already met with teams in Chicago. (By the way, this is not uncommon for top guys to not take part in the on-court portions.)
The NBA has picked 11 players from the G League Elite Camp to stay for the NBA draft combine that starts Thursday. UCF's Tacko Fall, Florida State's Terance Mann, Miami's Dewan Hernandez, Syracuse's Oshae Brissett, Nevada's Cody Martin, Tulsa's DaQuan Jeffries, Auburn's Jared Harper, Iowa's Tyler Cook, Iowa State's Marial Shayok, Mississippi State's Reggie Perry and Ole Miss' Terence Davis were invited Wednesday to stay.
The entire list of advancing players: Iowa State’s Marial Shayok, Ole Miss’s Terence Davis, Tulsa’s Dequan Jeffries, Nevada’s Cody Martin, Miami’s Dewan Hernandez, UCF’s Tacko Fall, Auburn’s Jared Harper, Iowa’s Tyler Cook, Mississippi State’s Reggie Perry and Brissett.
Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie won’t be attending the NBA Draft Combine after all. Tillie, Auburn’s Chuma Okeke and Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter withdrew from the combine, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony tweeted Monday afternoon. Okeke has opted to stay in the draft, according to Givony, but no reason was given for Tillie’s and Hunter’s absences.
Washington star guard Matisse Thybulle received an invitation to the NBA draft combine, but is opting not to attend next week’s workouts in Chicago. “Matisse will not be attending the NBA Combine next week,” Thybulle’s agent Eric Goodwin said. “He was invited, but we decided to pass. We believe Matisse brings a unique basketball skillset to an NBA team and our focus will be on organizations that are interested and we believe are a good fit.”
Sam Vecenie: FWIW, Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura not being on this list is not a mistake. A source tells me he’s not going to the combine. Will follow up with more when I get it. (Hachimura was obviously invited. His choice not to attend. Don't really think this is a big deal, FWIW.)
Jeremy Woo: The NBA has released the official draft combine list: pic.twitter.com/wzA9groJ3O

http://twitter.com/JeremyWoo/status/1126189097909915648
North Carolina's Nassir Little, Coby White, and Cameron Johnson all received NBA Combine Invites. The NBA Combine will take place over May 14-19 in Chicago, Ill.
Jim Meehan: Gonzaga's Killian Tillie received an invite to the NBA Draft Combine (May 14-19 in Chicago). He sprained his ankle Friday at workout for the Atlanta Hawks, but it didn't sound too serious. Previously reported that Norvell, Hachimura and Clarke received combine invites.
Kentucky will have a presence in the upcoming NBA Combine, which will be held in Chicago the week after next. PJ Washington, Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson have accepted invitations to participate in the annual pre-draft event. Neither Washington, Herro nor Johnson plan to play in the five-on-five games staged at the Combine, their fathers said Saturday. Each will do athletic and medical testing, plus be interviewed by NBA teams.
A fourth UK player, EJ Montgomery, has reportedly accepted an invitation to participate in the Combine and plans to play in the five-on-five games. There’s no word yet on an invitation for Kentucky forward Reid Travis, who has exhausted his collegiate eligibility.
AJ Lawson respectfully declined an invitation to the NBA’s G-League Elite Camp and will focus on individual workouts for NBA teams, a USC spokesperson confirmed. That means that Lawson had a chance to advance to the NBA Combine and didn’t take it.
Alex Halsted: Iowa State's Talen Horton-Tucker has been invited to the NBA Combine, per a source. That's a big step in the process for him to go in front of the top talent in the 2019 NBA Draft. The NBA Combine runs from May 14-19 in Chicago.
The invites to the 2019 NBA Draft Combine continue to trickle out. And while a full list is expected sometime around May 4th, another Virginia Cavaliers standout has been reported as being on the list. As reported earlier, courtesy of NBA Draft God on Twitter, both Kyle Guy and De'Andre Hunter have received invites to the combine. Now, NBA Draft God is reporting that Ty Jerome has also been added to the list of invites.
Nebraska forward Isaiah Roby is one of 60 players invited to the NBA Combine. Roby confirmed the news via text late on Saturday night. He received the invite via e-mail on Friday.
Approximately 60 players receive an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine each season. This year, three of them will be from Tennessee. Jordan Bone, Admiral Schofield and Grant Williams all received invites to the scouting event, which takes place from May 15-19.
Darren Wolfson: Even further proof that it isn't easy to get an invite to the #NBA Draft Combine: Ethan Happ and Jordan Murphy didn't get one. But like Travis, both will have workouts with individual teams in May and June. #Gophers #Badgers
St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds and Yale guard Miye Oni both received invitations to the NBA Combine May 15-19 in Chicago, they told ZAGSBLOG Friday night.
Zach Braziller: Owens has been invited to the G League Elite Camp in Chicago and is an alternative at moment for NBA Combine. #sjubb
Adam Zagoria: Villanova’s Eric Paschall earned an NBA Combine invite, coach Jay Wright tells me. They’re waiting on word on Phil Booth.
Jeremy Woo: Boston College’s Ky Bowman has received an NBA combine invitation, per source. Tough-minded, stat-stuffing guard has intrigued teams with his athleticism and defensive potential.

https://twitter.com/JordanBone23/status/1121971241571643399
Tennessee's own Grant Williams has been invited to the NBA Draft Combine. The junior forward made the announcement on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Grant2Will/status/1122199692312371200
Adam Johnson: In minor NBA Draft Combine news, multiple league sources tell @2ways10days that the NBA is changing its handshake agreement with the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament to invite the top 5 players to the combine.
Cole is the second notable player from a historically black school to declare for the draft, as Shaw’s Amir Hinton made the announcement on March 7. While Hinton has hired representation, Cole will wait to see if he will be invited to the NBA draft combine in Chicago in May to gauge his future prospects. “I want to get a chance to make it to the NBA combine in Chicago, to show off my skills and catch a team’s eye,” he said.
That swish from the left corner was Huerter’s first of 15 straight made three-pointers in an individual drill. Los Angeles Lakers Coach Luke Walton, Starbucks coffee in hand, stopped mid-stride to watch Huerter move around the arc. Peja Stojakovic, one of the best shooters in NBA history and now the director of player personnel for the Sacramento Kings, paused a conversation to do the same. A Western Conference scout tracked Huerter’s shots on a chart, and when it was only makes and no misses he picked up his pencil and mouthed a single word: Wow.
The Cavaliers interviewed 20 players at the NBA Draft Combine this week in Chicago, a team source said, including most of the consensus lottery picks who attended the event. The Cavs, who have the No. 8 pick in the June draft, sat with marquee players including Trae Young of Oklahoma, Mo Bamba of Texas, and Mikal Bridges of Villanova, according to sources and media reports.
Isaiah Thomas: Oh yeah. That combine shit doesn’t mean anything!!! I remember preparing myself and killing every drill & being at the top in every category. Still picked last! Don’t get discouraged. They can’t HIDE out forever. At some point the “top” guys gotta compete
“They obviously had a really good year this year, surprised a lot of people,” Young said of the Sixers. “Really didn’t surprise me just because I know how talented Ben [Simmons] and Joel [Embiid] are. So they are looking for a playmaker all-around. I know they are interested in me. But you never know how things will fall.”
Bryan Kalbrosky: Lonnie Walker has already met with five teams with a Top 10 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, source tells me. The list includes Knicks, Magic, Bulls and Sixers. Clippers have also expressed interest. Draft stock definitely rising.
This week at the combine, teams are allowed to interview up to 20 prospects. The Heat used up all 20 of those interviews, and six of the players confirmed to the Palm Beach Post they met with the Heat this week: Miami guard Bruce Brown, West Virginia guard Jevon Carter, Texas-Arlington forward Kevin Hervey, Maryland guard Kevin Huerter, Nevada forward Cody Martin and Southern Cal forward Chimezie Metu
By far, the big hit of the predraft combine was the interview setup for the Pistons, who turned to virtual reality to challenge the potential draftees with 12 game-type decision questions. Players were required to don VR goggles, which transported them to the team’s practice facility and presented them with plays unfolding around them. Using a remote control, the players would answer the questions.
Keith Pompey: #Oklahoma PG Trae Young thinks he’s the best overall player in this draft. He interviewed with the #Sixers here at the #NBACombine.
Josh Robbins: Oklahoma point guard Trae Young said he interviewed with the Magic this week at the NBA Draft Combine.
Jason Quick: Miami shooting guard Lonnie Walker interviewed with Blazers' psychologist, but he will not workout in Portland according to agent Happy Walters because at No. 24 the Blazers are selecting too low for Walker's expected draft position.
KC Johnson: Wendell Carter Jr. on Bagley's eligibility: "My role changed a little bit. But I do whatever I have to do to win." And on NBA: "For the most part, I think college does put a limitation on a lot of players. The NBA, I think that’s more my realm where I can show what I can do."
The Suns met with 6-foot-11 Duke forward Marvin Bagley III in Chicago, and McDonough also mentioned several other top contenders
Storyline: Draft Combine
More HoopsHype Rumors
October 24, 2020 | 6:02 am EDT Update

NBA withholding 40 percent of player salaries in escrow?

Marks: The players. Agents are bracing for the possibility of up to 40% of the escrow being withheld from players, sources told ESPN. That money would offset losses incurred with a lack of revenue coming in from home games. And from a health standpoint, 22 teams just endured a grueling stretch of basketball, both physically and mentally. I would think that players who finished the playoffs in September or October will not be happy that training camp is now weeks instead of months away.
NBA on ESPN: John Wall working out with Nets players Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan (via graydientvisuals/Instagram, klutchsports/Instagram)

Knicks targeting Yoeli Childs in second round?

One name to keep an eye on with the Knicks in the second round? BYU power forward/center Yoeli Childs. The Knicks interviewed Childs recently, per SNY sources, and those sources said Childs has been making a strong impression during interviews with teams who have picks in the early/mid second round. The Knicks have the 38th pick in the second round. The club has interviewed dozens of players, so the fact that they interviewed Childs shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. But it does confirm that the club has a level of interest in the 6-8, 255-pound big man.

Hakeem Olajuwon: Jordan far superior player than LeBron

Former Houston Rockets star Hakeem told CNBC that it’s always been Jordan for him, and apparently, his opinion won’t change when it comes to this debate on who is the most superior player he ever faced. “When people start comparing him with Jordan, then that’s not a fair comparison. Jordan was a far more superior player in a very tough league, and he was very creative. That’s not taking away anything from LeBron because he is a great player, but it is not a fair comparison because Jordan is a far superior player.” Hakeem Olajuwon, via CNBC
This rumor is part of a storyline: 188 more rumors
RW: Do you think the title with the Lakers puts LeBron over the top in the G.O.A.T. debate? Mike Penberthy: I don’t know if it’s possible to compare eras. As a player, the NBA calls the game differently from a referee standpoint and the gameplay is played differently in all the eras. What rules are you comparing these guys in? I think [Michael] Jordan was the greatest in his era. I think Magic [Johnson] and [Larry] Bird were the best in their era. I think Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], who doesn’t get any love, I’ve always thought Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the greatest basketball player to ever walk the earth because of what he did from the time he was 15 until the time he was 40.
RW: You won a championship playing with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal and now you’ve coached LeBron and Anthony Davis to a title. What are the differences in those Lakers superstar duos? Mike Penberthy: All four of them are different players. Shaq is a true center. A.D. is a freak hybrid. LeBron is one of the most dominant forces in transition and with his basketball I.Q. and ability to pass, dribble and make big shots. And then Kobe was one of the greatest scorers and greatest talents in NBA history, so all of them were different in their own ways. Shaq had the ability to make other people better. LeBron made other people better. A.D. and Kobe were more of the assassins of the group. They’re looking to score and looking to get the ball. Not that they couldn’t make other people better, but they were more valuable to the team scoring.
Mike Penberthy: The differences are really that they were all different players, but here’s the unique thing that’s similar. Shaq and Kobe were better when they played together with each in pick-and-rolls and in post-ups and kick-outs. LeBron and A.D. got better when they played together. When they shared the ball and utilized each other’s strengths. They’re much better together than they were apart individually. I think Shaq and Kobe came together to bring home championships and I think it’s the same for LeBron and A.D.
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