Storyline: Draft Combine

265 rumors in this storyline

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.

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Bruno Fernando is one of three Maryland players participating in the combine this week — along with guard Kevin Huerter and forward Justin Jackson — and he and Huerter have yet to sign agents. That means they have until May 30 to decide whether they will return to Maryland or forego the rest of their college eligibility and enter the draft. A few people with knowledge of Fernando’s situation believe he is closer to declaring for the draft than he is to returning for a sophomore season in College Park. His highest mock-draft projections are as a late first-round pick; some predict he won’t be selected at all.

“The word is he (Ethan Happ) is going back to school and only using this to get an evaluation of his game from us,’’ a veteran NBA college scout said explaining why Happ wasn’t chosen to partake in the NBA Combine, which is May 16-20. “And another reason he wasn’t chosen is that we’ve all seen him play a lot at Wisconsin. We know his game; we know what he’s about. A bunch of guys going to Chicago, we don’t know nearly as much about.’’

Hamidou Diallo has been invited to participate in the NBA Combine next month. And his high school coach said he could see a lot of familiar faces there. Tom Espinosa, who coached Diallo at Putnam Science Academy in Queens, N.Y., said his former player told an assistant coach about the invitation to the NBA Combine. “He said all the Kentucky guys were invited,” Espinosa said, “and all the Duke guys, too.” Four other UK players have entered their names in the June 21 NBA Draft: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Wenyen Gabriel, Jarred Vanderbilt and PJ Washington.

Five Kansas basketball players — Udoka Azubuike, Devonté Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk, Malik Newman and Billy Preston — have been invited to the NBA Combine, set for May 16-20 in Chicago, KU announced on its basketball Twitter account on Saturday night. A sixth Jayhawk, Lagerald Vick, is listed as an alternate. Azubuike, a sophomore, is the only one of the six players with a chance to return to KU for the 2018-19 season. He has not signed with an agent, thus has until May 30 to withdraw his name from the draft if he wishes to return to college.

Brian Bowen, the former Louisville signee who is one of the players at the center of the FBI investigation into college basketball, has been invited to the NBA combine. Jason Setchen, the attorney representing Bowen as he deals with the NCAA fallout of the investigation, said Bowen received the invitation Friday. The 6’7″ wing from La Lumiere High in La Porte, Ind., is currently enrolled at South Carolina. He has declared for the NBA draft, but he hasn’t hired an agent and hasn’t decided whether he’ll stay in the draft. “He’s excited he was selected,” Setchen said of the combine, which takes place in Chicago from May 16–20. “He’s appreciative of the opportunity to show what he can do.”

In past years, the Kings have had trouble getting consideration from elite prospects, let alone an interview with a top tier player. That all seems to be changing. Not only did Markelle Fultz, the player most believe will go with the top overall pick, sit down with the Kings brass, Sacramento got the first crack at an interview with the guard from Washington. Perry, the team’s new executive vice president of basketball operations has ties to the Fultz camp, which is usually the way this all works.

Whether Jok did enough to impress the pro personnel at the camp and improve his stock for the June draft isn’t known. What also isn’t known, at least to many NBA officials who attended the camp, is that Jok participated under some extenuating circumstances. After arriving in Chicago on Monday, he immediately hit the books and studied for four exams in anthropology, sports business, human development and Swahili. He took two tests on Tuesday, one on Wednesday and the final one on Thursday. It meant he was up early morning and going to bed late at night.

HoopsHype asked a dozen NBA players – from rookies to veterans – about the most bizarre exchanges they had with a team at the combine or during one of their draft visits. The following are all real questions asked by teams: If you were the size of a pencil and stuck in a blender, how would you get out? Several players said they were asked this question. Apparently, this is a question that Google and other Silicon Valley companies have used during interviews, and at least one NBA team has started asking it as well. The idea is to get an understanding of the player’s thinking, creativity, problem-solving, etcetera.
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November 15, 2018 | 8:58 pm EST Update
“My thing to these guys is what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to chop down a big tree,” Fizdale said. “If you’re paying attention to if the tree is falling, you’re never going to get that tree down. We signed a covenant as a group, every guy. I said, ‘Hey, let’s make a commitment that no matter what happens that we stick together and we keep chopping this tree together.’ So the ax is just a symbol of us chopping this tree. Every day putting in the work with the right attitude. The right respect for what we’re trying to accomplish. And not let things linger, but keeping our eyes on the task of getting better.”