The NBA Draft Combine starts today, as the best of the best 2018 NBA prospects will put their skills on display in front of a building full of scouts looking to determine who’s best to help lead their respective franchise into the future.
The televised action won’t begin until Thursday, however. A handful of Kentucky Wildcats will be participating: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox, Hamidou Diallo and PJ Washington. Jarred Vanderbilt was also invited, but are both skipping the combine.
Gilgeous-Alexander has a chance to improve his draft stock, but not by a ton. What really made him a lottery pick was his play on the court. Unless his physical measurements and drill results jump off the page, he’s probably still looking to be in the middle or bottom third of the lottery.
The same likely goes for Knox. His length and athleticism is already apparent. If he’d been more consistent at Kentucky he’d be a top-10 pick. But as it stands, a good combine showing could solidify him as a lottery pick.
Diallo, who at one point said he was skipping the combine, is now tentatively set to attend. A good week in Chicago could solidify his bid for an early second-round pick. Diallo showed all he could at last year’s combine. His vertical is absurd and he’s got arms longer than most peoples’ legs.
While it may remind some scouts why they should draft him if he went again this year, he wouldn’t really be proving anything that everyone didn’t already know.
As for Washington, the combine could be just what he needs. The 6-foot-7-inch forward is looking for a first-round guarantee before he makes his decision. As it currently stands, he doesn’t seem to be anywhere near there when it comes to mock drafts.
An impressive combine showing could change that. On the other hand, what the scouts tell him after the combine could be what pushes him back to Kentucky for a sophomore year.
As for Vanderbilt and Diallo, Vanderbilt likely isn’t healthy enough to participate, though he didn’t cite that as his reasoning for skipping the combine.
The event will take place at the Quest Multisport Complex in Chicago, Ill. A total of 69 NBA prospects are expected to participate, as their skills, strength and agility are tested through drills and on-court competition.
Combine time, location, how to watch
When: Thursday and Friday, 3-7 p.m. each day.
Where: Quest Multisport in Chicago.
How to watch: The combine will be on ESPN2, and will be streamed on WatchESPN.
Announcers: Maria Taylor will host ESPN’s two-day coverage, and will be joined by Jay Bilas, Adrian Wojnarowski, NBA Draft experts Mike Schmitz and Jonathan Givony, and front office expert Bobby Marks.