Jalen Bridges

NBA Announces 78 Invitees For 2024 Draft Combine

The NBA announced today (via Twitter) that 78 prospects have been invited to attend this year’s draft combine, which will take place in Chicago from May 12-19.

In addition to those 78 players, a handful of standout players from the G League Elite Camp, which is also held in Chicago just before the combine begins, are expected to receive invites to stick around for the main event.

Not all of the prospects invited to the combine will end up remaining in the 2024 draft pool, since some are early entrants who are testing the waters while retaining their NCAA eligibility. College players must withdraw from the draft by the end of the day on May 29 if they wish to preserve that eligibility, while non-college players face a decision deadline of June 16. The feedback they receive from NBA teams at the combine may be a deciding factor for players who are on the fence.

Here’s the list of players who have been invited to the 2024 draft combine:

(Note: For players in international leagues, the country listed is where they had been playing, not necessarily where they’re from.)

  1. Michael Ajayi, F, Pepperdine (junior)
  2. Melvin Ajinca, G/F, France (born 2004)
  3. Trey Alexander, G, Creighton (junior)
  4. Izan Almansa, F, G League Ignite (born 2005)
  5. Reece Beekman, G, Virginia (senior)
  6. Adem Bona, F/C, UCLA (sophomore)
  7. Trevon Brazile, F, Arkansas (sophomore)
  8. Jalen Bridges, F, Baylor (senior)
  9. Matas Buzelis, F, G League Ignite (born 2004)
  10. Carlton Carrington, G, Pitt (freshman)
  11. Devin Carter, G, Providence (junior)
  12. Stephon Castle, G, UConn (freshman)
  13. Ulrich Chomche, C, NBA Academy Africa (born 2005)
  14. Cam Christie, G, Minnesota (freshman)
  15. Nique Clifford, G, Colorado State (senior)
  16. Donovan Clingan, C, UConn (sophomore)
  17. Isaiah Collier, G, USC (freshman)
  18. Tristan Da Silva, F, Colorado (senior)
  19. Pacome Dadiet, G/F, Germany (born 2005)
  20. N’Faly Dante, C, Oregon (super-senior)
  21. Rob Dillingham, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  22. Nikola Djurisic, G/F, Serbia (born 2004)
  23. Ryan Dunn, F, Virginia (sophomore)
  24. Zach Edey, C, Purdue (senior)
  25. Justin Edwards, G/F, Kentucky (freshman)
  26. Kyle Filipowski, F/C, Duke (sophomore)
  27. Trentyn Flowers, G/F, Australia (born 2005)
  28. Johnny Furphy, G/F, Kansas (freshman)
  29. Kyshawn George, G/F, Miami (FL) (freshman)
  30. Tyon Grant-Foster, G, Grand Canyon (senior)
  31. PJ Hall, C, Clemson (senior)
  32. Coleman Hawkins, F, Illinois (senior)
  33. Ron Holland, F, G League Ignite (born 2005)
  34. DaRon Holmes II, F, Dayton (junior)
  35. Ariel Hukporti, C, Germany (born 2002)
  36. Oso Ighodaro, F, Marquette (senior)
  37. Harrison Ingram, F, UNC (junior)
  38. Bronny James, G, USC (freshman)
  39. A.J. Johnson, G, Australia (born 2004)
  40. Keshad Johnson, F, Arizona (super-senior)
  41. David Jones, F, Memphis (senior)
  42. Dillon Jones, F, Weber State (senior)
  43. Ryan Kalkbrenner, C, Creighton (senior)
    • Note: Kalkbrenner indicated this week that he intends to return to school, so it’s unclear if he’ll continue to go through the pre-draft process.
  44. Alex Karaban, F, UConn (sophomore)
  45. Bobi Klintman, F, Australia (born 2003)
  46. Dalton Knecht, G, Tennessee (super-senior)
  47. Tyler Kolek, G, Marquette (senior)
  48. Pelle Larsson, G, Arizona (senior)
  49. Jared McCain, G, Duke (freshman)
  50. Kevin McCullar, G, Kansas (super-senior)
  51. Yves Missi, C, Baylor (freshman)
  52. Ajay Mitchell, G, UC Santa Barbara (junior)
  53. Jonathan Mogbo, F/C, San Francisco (senior)
  54. Tristen Newton, G, UConn (super-senior)
  55. Juan Nunez, G, Germany (born 2004)
  56. Quinten Post, F/C, Boston College (super-senior)
  57. Antonio Reeves, G, Kentucky (super-senior)
  58. Zaccharie Risacher, F, France (born 2005)
  59. Jaxson Robinson, G/F, BYU (senior)
  60. Tidjane Salaun, F, France (born 2005)
  61. Hunter Sallis, G, Wake Forest (junior)
  62. Payton Sandfort, G/F, Iowa (junior)
  63. Alexandre Sarr, F/C, Australia (born 2005)
  64. Baylor Scheierman, G/F, Creighton (super-senior)
  65. Mark Sears, G, Alabama (senior)
  66. Terrence Shannon, G, Illinois (super-senior)
  67. Jamal Shead, G, Houston (senior)
  68. Reed Sheppard, G, Kentucky (freshman)
  69. KJ Simpson, G, Colorado (junior)
  70. Tyler Smith, F, G League Ignite (born 2004)
  71. Cam Spencer, G, UConn (super-senior)
  72. Nikola Topic, G, Serbia (born 2005)
  73. JT Toppin, F, New Mexico (freshman)
  74. Jaylon Tyson, G, California (junior)
  75. Ja’Kobe Walter, G, Baylor (freshman)
  76. Kel’el Ware, C, Indiana (sophomore)
  77. Jamir Watkins, G/F, Florida State (junior)
  78. Cody Williams, F, Colorado (freshman)

It’s worth noting that the NBA and the NBPA agreed to a few combine-related changes in their latest Collective Bargaining Agreement. Here are a few of those changes:

  • A player who is invited to the draft combine and declines to attend without an excused absence will be ineligible to be drafted. He would become eligible the following year by attending the combine. There will be exceptions made for a player whose FIBA season is ongoing, who is injured, or who is dealing with a family matter (such as a tragedy or the birth of a child).
  • Players who attend the draft combine will be required to undergo physical exams, share medical history, participate in strength, agility, and performance testing, take part in shooting drills, receive anthropometric measurements, and conduct interviews with teams and the media. Scrimmages won’t be mandatory.
  • Medical results from the combine will be distributed to select teams based on where the player is projected to be drafted. Only teams drafting in the top 10 would get access to medical info for the projected No. 1 pick; teams in the top 15 would receive medical info for players in the 2-6 range, while teams in the top 25 would get access to info for the players in the 7-10 range.

Regarding that last point, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link) has the details on the top 10 played out this year, noting that the composite ranking was generated based on a combination of publicly available rankings and feedback from a panel of experts, as well as a retained-scouting service.

Sarr is considered the No. 1 overall prospect, per Givony, so only teams drafting in the top 10 will get access to his medicals. Buzelis, Castle, Clingan, Risacher, and Topic are in the 2-6 range, while Dillingham, Holland, Knecht, and Sheppard round out the top 10.

Draft Notes: Ingram, Bridges, Jones, Kamardine, More

UNC forward Harrison Ingram, who spent his junior year with the Tar Heels after two seasons at Stanford, has declared for the 2024 NBA draft, he announced on Twitter.

According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link), while Ingram plans on keeping his name in the draft pool and going pro, he’s maintaining his remaining college eligibility for now. Ingram also tested the draft waters in 2022, participating in the combine that year before withdrawing and returning to school.

[RELATED: 2024 NBA Draft Early Entrants List]

Back in 2022, Ingram barely crack the top 75 on ESPN’s big board of draft prospects, but he currently ranks 34th, making him a good bet to selected in June if he decides to forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility.

The North Carolina standout posted career highs of 12.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game in 2023/24. He also boosted his shooting percentages to 43.0% from the field and 38.5% on three-pointers.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Baylor forward Jalen Bridges, the No. 56 prospect on ESPN’s board, announced on Instagram that he has decided to enter the 2024 draft. Bridges’ announcement didn’t mention anything about retaining his final year of college eligibility, so it sounds like he plans to go pro. Bridges spent three years at West Virginia and the last two at Baylor, but would still be eligible for a super-senior season because he was a redshirt freshman and then received an extra year of eligibility due to COVID.
  • Memphis senior forward David Jones will enter the 2024 NBA draft pool while maintaining his final year of NCAA eligibility, he announced on Instagram. A member of the All-AAC first team in 2023/24, Jones averaged 21.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.2 steals in 32.3 minutes per game across 32 starts, with a shooting line of .459/.380/.797.
  • French guard Ilias Kamardine is entering the draft, according to an announcement from agent Herman Manakyan of Fusion Sports (Twitter link). Kamardine, 20, has been playing for Vichy-Clermont in France’s Pro B league and was named the MVP of the FIBA U20 European Championship in 2023.
  • New Mexico freshman forward JT Toppin will test the NBA draft waters this spring, a source tells Rothstein (Twitter link). In his first college season, Toppin averaged 12.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks in 26.6 minutes per game, with a shooting line of .623/.344/.565.
  • Arizona guard KJ Lewis will test the draft waters following his freshman season, he announced on Twitter. Lewis came off the bench for the Wildcats in 36 games in 2023/24, averaging 6.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 1.9 APG.

NCAA’s Draft Withdrawal Deadline For Early Entrants Has Passed

Now that we’ve flipped the calendar from May to June, the deadline for early entrants to withdraw their names from the 2023 NBA draft and retain their NCAA eligibility has passed. Prospects had until 11:59 pm Eastern time on May 31 to make their decisions and meet the NCAA’s deadline.

The NBA’s own draft withdrawal deadline isn’t until June 12, but college players typically make their decisions in advance of the NCAA’s deadline so that they’re able to return to school.

[RELATED: 2023 NBA Draft Dates, Deadlines To Watch]

We passed along many last-minute draft decisions on Wednesday, but a few slipped through the cracks or weren’t reported until this morning. Most notably, Ohio State’s Brice Sensabaugh, a projected first-round pick, opted to keep his name in the draft as expected, per Adam Jardy of The Columbus Dispatch.

Washington State’s Justin Powell, TCU’s Damion Baugh, and Demetrius Mims of Gannon University will also remain in the 2023 draft, according to reports from Jonathan Givony of ESPN, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, and Jon Chepkevich of DraftExpress.com (all Twitter links).

Here are some of the players who decided to opt out of the draft:

Our early entrant tracker has been updated to reflect the latest reports and announcements. However, we’re still awaiting clarity on a number of players, and it’s worth stressing that our list is very unofficial.

The NBA won’t issue a full, final list of early entrants in the 2023 draft until after the June 12 withdrawal deadline. But last year the league provided an update following the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline, so we could get a similar announcement on Thursday or Friday.

By our count, at least 100 of the 242 players who initially declared for the draft as early entrants have pulled out.

Eastern Notes: Love, Hornets’ Workouts, Pistons

Kevin Love departed Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals in the first half due to a strained lower left leg, but he’ll likely play in Game 4 on Tuesday, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. The Heat big man says he’ll be “ready to go” as Miami looks to close out the series.

“It just felt like, honestly, a muscle cramp and was kind of off and on,” said Love, who was acquired by the Heat via the buyout market. “So I just wanted to ask to come out, wanted to be smart about it, tell Coach (Erik Spoelstra) that I could go back in if needed. At halftime we’d had a conversation. We were up 15. I said I was available. But then the score just got upwards of 20, 30. And from that point on, I just figured I’d get my treatment, make sure I was all good.”

We have more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Hornets held a pre-draft workout for six prospects on Monday, the team tweets. Baylor’s Jalen Bridges, Akron’s Xavier Castaneda, Pittsburgh’s Nelly Cummings, Miami’s Jordan Miller, Appalachian State’s Tamell Pearson and Kansas State’s Nae’Qwan Tomlin were the visitors.
  • Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins, Bucks assistant Charles Lee and former Overtime Elite coach Kevin Ollie remain finalists for the Pistons’ head coaching job, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets. The trio will meet with the team’s brass again this week, with Edwards adding that he wouldn’t be surprised if former Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer and former Suns coach Monty Williams take the year off.
  • Speaking of the Pistons, what are their lottery options now that they’ve dropped to No. 5 in the draft? Edwards explores that topic and lists a handful of prospects who could be available at that spot, including Alabama forward Brandon Miller if he slides down the draft board. If he doesn’t, Houston’s Jarace Walker or Villanova’s Cam Whitmore could be the pick.

50 Prospects Reportedly Invited To G League Elite Camp

A total of 50 prospects for the 2023 NBA draft have been invited to the NBA’s G League Elite Camp, according to reports from Adam Zagoria of Forbes and Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report (Twitter links).

Those players are as follows:

The name of the G League Elite Camp is a bit of a misnomer — when first introduced, the event showcased NBAGL players, but the field of participants now consists exclusively of draft prospects. The event will take place on May 13 and 14 in Chicago, ahead of this year’s draft combine.

Like the combine, the Elite Camp brings young players to Chicago to meet NBA teams and participate in drills and scrimmages. While the combine focuses on the top prospects in a given draft class, the Elite Camp generally features prospects who are trying to break into that upper echelon of prospects but are more likely to go undrafted. The top performers at the event typically receive invites to the combine.

Of the 50 G League Elite Camp invitees, 15 show up on Jonathan Givony’s list of this year’s top 100 prospects at ESPN.com. However, no Elite Camp invitee ranks higher than No. 58 (Hart) on ESPN’s board.

The G League Elite Camp will give the invitees who declared for the draft as early entrants an opportunity to see where they stand ahead of the draft withdrawal deadline on May 31. Not all of the players who participate in this event will remain in the draft pool.

Some NBA players who have participated in past G League Elite Camps include Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado, Pacers forward Oshae Brissett, Clippers guard Terance Mann, and Heat wing Max Strus.

Draft Notes: Bates, Early Entrants, NTX Combine

Eastern Michigan’s Emoni Bates, the nation’s top high school recruit in 2021, has decided to enter the NBA draft, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

“What I been dreaming for my whole life,” Bates wrote on his Instagram account this morning.

The 19-year-old swingman spent his first collegiate season at Memphis before transferring to the Eagles last summer. He averaged 19.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 30 games as a sophomore while shooting 40.5% from the field and 33% from three-point range.

Bates has slipped to 56th on ESPN’s latest big board of the top 100 draft prospects, so he’s not a sure thing to be selected. EMU is coming off an 8-23 season, and ESPN’s Jonathan Givony speculated last month that Bates might have hurt his draft stock by staying in school.

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • Kansas State’s Keyontae Johnson (Twitter link), Missouri’s Kobe Brown (Instagram link), and Baylor’s Jalen Bridges (Twitter link) have all declared for the draft while retaining their college eligibility. Johnson ranks 40th on ESPN’s big board, while Brown is 43rd and Bridges is 69th. The deadline to withdraw from the draft and still be eligible to play in college next season is May 31 at 11:59 pm ET.
  • Creighton’s Arthur Kaluma announced on his Twitter page that he’ll be entering the draft, making no mention of possibly returning to college. The sophomore power forward is 90th in ESPN’s rankings.
  • Serbia’s Mihailo Boskovic has also put his name in the draft, according to Misko Raznatovic (Twitter link).
  • The NTX Combine expects to host 32 draft prospects from May 2-4 with representatives of more than 20 NBA team in attendance, tweets Marc J. Spears of Andscape. He notes that past participants have landed Exhibit 10, summer league and G League contracts. Former NBA players Maurice Evans, Mike James and Shawn Respert will be among the coaches at the combine.