10:09pm: V.J. Beachem, Nigel Hayes, Peter Jok, Derrick Walton and Chris Boucher, originally alternative invitees, have now made the official NBA combine list, sources tell Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter).
9:19pm: Lonzo Ball won’t be the only top prospect skipping this year’s NBA draft combine. According to Shams Charania of The Vertical (via Twitter), a handful of other standout prospects expected to be top-10 picks won’t participate in the event next week in Chicago.
[RELATED: Lonzo Ball to skip combine]
Jayson Tatum, Malik Monk, Josh Jackson, Lauri Markkanen, Jonathan Isaac, and Dennis Smith Jr. will skip this year’s combine, Charania reports. While none of those players are quite as highly regarded as Ball, most are in the tier right below him — DraftExpress, which has Ball at No. 2 on its big board, ranks those six players between Nos. 3 and 9.
The mass exodus from this year’s combine leaves Markelle Fultz and De’Aaron Fox as the only elite prospects whose status for the event hasn’t been reported. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see either player – particularly Fultz – skip the combine, as more and more players in recent years have passed on attending and haven’t seen their draft stocks suffer as a result.
For a player like Ball, there’s little upside to attending the combine, since he’s already viewed as a near-lock to be a top-two pick. The event has more appeal to prospects whose stocks aren’t as high, since they could potentially move up a few spots on teams’ draft boards if they have a strong week in Chicago.
As Bobby Marks of The Vertical tweets, the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement indicates that the NBA and NBPA have agreed to work on a solution to address this issue.