2015 NBA Combine Preview, Schedule, Teams, Groupings and Analysis

2015 NBA Combine Preview, Schedule, Teams, Groupings and Analysis
May 08, 2015, 05:09 pm
5/13 Edit

Thursday Schedule

2:00 - 3:30
• Shooting Drills
• Strength and Agility Testing
2:30 – 4:00
• GAME: Team 1 vs. Team 2
4:00 – 5:30
• Shooting Drills
• Strength and Agility Testing
4:30 – 6:00
• GAME: Team 3 vs. Team 4

Friday Schedule

2:00 - 2:30
• Shooting Drills
• Strength and Agility Testing
2:30 – 4:00:
• GAME: Team 2 vs. Team 3
3:15 – 4:30
• Shooting Drills
• Strength and Agility Testing
4:30 – 6:00
• GAME: Team 1 vs. Team 4

NBA Combine Five on Five Teams

Brandon Ashley
Ryan Boatright
Anthony Brown
Rakeem Christmas
George de Paula
Olivier Hanlan
Corey Hawkins
J.P. Tokoto
Aaron White

Pat Connaughton
Quinn Cook
Treveon Graham
Richaun Holmes
Mouhammadou Jaiteh
Larry Nance
Terran Petteway
Terry Rozier
Dez Wells

Branden Dawson
Michael Frazier II
Aaron Harrison
Jordan Mickey
Michael Qualls
Keifer Sykes
TaShawn Thomas
Marcus Thornton
Joseph Young

T.J. McConnell
Andrew Harrison
Tyler Harvey
Jonathan Holmes
Vince Hunter
Norman Powell
Chasson Randle
Chris Walker
Alan Williams

"Physicals Only"

The following players will not be participating in any competitive action. Some may conduct non-contact drills (mostly shooting and ball-handling). All players will do measurements and athletic testing (unless they elect not to).

Justin Anderson
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Stanley Johnson
Frank Kaminsky
Cameron Payne
Myles Turner
Rashad Vaughn
Justise Winslow
Christian Wood
Sam Dekker
Jerian Grant
R.J. Hunter
Tyus Jones
Kelly Oubre
Delon Wright
Cliff Alexander
Devin Booker
Willie Cauley-Stein
Dakari Johnson
Jarell Martin
Bobby Portis
Robert Upshaw
Montrezl Harrell
Trey Lyles
Chris McCullough
D'Angelo Russell
Kevon Looney


The NBA officially released the list of players invited to their annual Draft Combine, to be held in Chicago next week from May 12-17th.

The players' schedule reads as follow (edited for privacy reasons)

Tuesday, May 12
11:00 AM until completion. Arrivals, media circuit and medical intake (interviews and photo shoot at hotel)

Wednesday, May 13
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM Testing (anthropometric & a portion of the medical testing)
2:00 PM – 7:25 PM Interviews with teams (hotel)
Throughout the day Medical testing for select players (Hospital)

Thursday, May 14
9:00 AM – 11:50 AM Interviews with teams (hotel)
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM On-court session – five-on-five games, shooting drills, strength and agility testing
Throughout the day Medical testing for select players (Hospital)

Friday, May 15
8:30 AM – 11:55 AM Interviews with teams (hotel)
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM On-court session – five-on-five games, shooting drills, strength and agility testing
Throughout the day Medical testing for select players (Hospital)

Saturday, May 16
7:00 AM until completion Medical testing (Hospital)

Sunday, May 17
9:00 AM until completion Medical evaluations with Team Doctors and Athletic Trainers (hospital)


D'Angelo Russell Ohio State
Justise Winslow Duke
Willie Cauley-Stein Kentucky
Stanley Johnson Arizona
Myles Turner Texas
Kelly Oubre Kansas
Sam Dekker Wisconsin
Devin Booker Kentucky
Bobby Portis Arkansas
Trey Lyles Kentucky
Kevon Looney UCLA
Tyus Jones Duke
Cameron Payne Murray State
Montrezl Harrell Louisville
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Arizona
Christian Wood UNLV
R.J. Hunter Georgia State
Jarell Martin LSU
Cliff Alexander Kansas
Justin Anderson Virginia
Rashad Vaughn UNLV
Dakari Johnson Kentucky
Chris McCullough Syracuse
George Lucas Pinheiros
Robert Upshaw Washington
Terry Rozier Louisville
Michael Qualls Arkansas
J.P. Tokoto North Carolina
Mouhammadou Jaiteh Nanterre
Andrew Harrison Kentucky
Tyler Harvey Eastern Washington
Jordan Mickey LSU
Olivier Hanlan Boston College
Michael Frazier Florida
Aaron Harrison Kentucky
Vince Hunter UTEP
Chris Walker Florida
Brandon Ashley Arizona
Terran Petteway Nebraska

NCAA Seniors
Frank Kaminsky Wisconsin
Jerian Grant Notre Dame
Delon Wright Utah
Anthony Brown Stanford
Norman Powell UCLA
Aaron White Iowa
Rakeem Christmas Syracuse
Alan Williams UC Santa Barbara
Joseph Young Oregon
Jonathan Holmes Texas
Richaun Holmes Bowling Green
Keifer Sykes Wisc. Green Bay
Branden Dawson Michigan State
Treveon Graham VCU
Dez Wells Maryland
Larry Nance Wyoming
Quinn Cook Duke
TaShawn Thomas Oklahoma
Marcus Thornton William and Mary
Corey Hawkins UC Davis
Pat Connaughton Notre Dame
Chasson Randle Stanford
Ryan Boatright UConn
T.J. McConnell


The final tally for Combine invites ended up being 63, which is a comparable number to what we've seen in the past few years.

YearNBA Combine Participants
2014 59
2013 63
2012 61
2011 53
2010 53
2009 50
2008 79
2007 82
2006 82
2005 84

You'll notice much higher figures from 2005-2008, which is the period the NBA held branded this event as their “Pre-Draft Camp” as opposed to the “NBA Combine,” starting in 2009.

39 of the 62 Invites this year were “Early-Entry” candidates, as a large number of seniors, many of whom declined to participate in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, were passed over in favor of younger players.

How many of the players above will actually play competitive five on five, and how many will only do drills, or less (nothing) remains to be seen. We put the cutoff on our lists above and below the “--“, which seems to indicate where things are at the moment.

It is a safe bet to say that any player currently projected as a first round pick will opt to do as little as possible unless they feel they stand something to gain from drill or another, the athletic testing component, or measurements. Until the NBA finds a way to “force” players to compete in one setting or another, this will continue to be a part of the equation during the Combine, which unfortunately dominates public and private conversations all week.

What will be very interesting to see is what happens if players who have already committed to playing five on five opt to pull out at the last minute, for example due to an injury, real or imagined. Will the NBA take a hard line stance and elect to send them home, without medical testing, conducting interviews with teams, or doing athletic testing and measurements? Things could quickly spiral out of hand by the second day, which is something to keep an eye on.

Notable Players Who Declined Invites
Karl Towns Kentucky
Jahlil Okafor Duke
Emmanuel Mudiay Guangdong

The disturbing trend of top prospects electing to completely skip the NBA Combine altogether began in 2013, when Anthony Bennett, the eventual #1 pick in the draft, did not show up in Chicago after undergoing shoulder surgery less than ten days prior.

The following year, top prospects Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid took things to another level in deciding not to attend, under the advice of their agents.

While no official explanation was given, the general reasoning was that these players have nothing to gain by coming to Chicago and can only hurt their stock by submitting themselves to measurements, athletic testing, interviews and especially the NBA physical examination, which has uncovered a litany of issues in the past that has caused prospects to slip in the draft.

NBA agents, who mostly enter the picture very late in the game and only have very limited options at their disposal in terms of putting their stamp on the draft process, seem to be trending towards erring on the side of caution to an extreme degree now. This is simply their way of attempting to control every morsel of information that is dispersed to teams, particularly ones without high draft picks who are on a “need to know” basis in their view. They know they regardless hold all the cards, as no GM will seemingly dare call their bluff and skip on one of the draft's prized prospects due to a lack of info or control.

This issue has been exacerbated by the NBA moving the date of the Combine to mid-May, prior to the draft lottery, which adds a significant element of unknown to the week. Agents would much prefer to know which teams are drafting in which slot before they decide who to let their players interview with for example.

Notable Players Who Were Forced to Decline
Mario Hezonja Barcelona
Kristaps Porzingis Sevilla

The ACB regular season doesn't end until May 24th, which precludes both players from attending even if they felt like they had anything to gain by putting themselves in front of teams in such a strange and unfamiliar environment. While Porzingis' season will be done with the regular season, Hezonja's Barcelona team is in third place and thus is expected to make a long run in the Spanish playoffs.

The ACB semifinals lasted until June 15th last year, while the finals extended all the way to June 26th. Hezonja may be able to make it to the NBA Draft Green Room, where he is certain to be invited, but it will certainly be a close call if he'll be able to conduct any workouts (unlikely), interviews or submit for a physical.

Porzingis on the other hand will be making his way to the States towards the end of May and is expected to be in attendance for his agency's (ASM Sports) Pro Day in Las Vegas on June 12th. Expect every NBA team to send numerous scouts and high level executives, particularly those drafting in the lottery.

Other European prospects whose teams will still be competing in international competition for the forseeable future:

Timothe Luwawu Antibes
Aleksandar Vezenkov Aris
Nikola Milutinov Partizan
Guillermo Hernangomez Sevilla
Cedi Osman Anadolu Efes
Arturas Gudaitis Zalgiris
Nedim Buza KK Spars
Moussa Diagne Fuenlabrada
Marc Garcia Manresa
Alpha Kaba Pau Orthez
Paul Zipser Bayern Muenchen
Daniel Diez San Sebastian
Lucas Dias Pinheiros
Andzejs Pasecniks VEF Riga
Rade Zagorac Mega Leks
Simone Fontecchio Virtus Bologna
Adin Vrabac Trier
Nikola Radicevic Sevilla
Kevin Harley Poitiers
Dimitris Agravanis Olympiakos
Wael Arakji Al-Riyadi Beirut
Nenad Miljenovic Mega Vizura
Mateusz Ponitka Oostende

Notable Players Who Were Not Invited

It's difficult to pinpoint a single underclassman “early-entry” candidate who had a real case to be invited to Chicago, but did not get in. On the other hand, the list of NCAA seniors who may be feeling snubbed is long and noteworthy, featuring some of the most recognizable names in the college game this past season:

Josh Richardson Tennessee
Darrun Hilliard Villanova
Darion Atkins Virginia
Cady Lalanne Massachusetts
D.J. Newbill Penn State
Sam Thompson Ohio State
Shannon Scott Ohio State
Wesley Saunders Harvard
Joshua Smith Georgetown
Juwan Staten West Virginia
Julian Washburn UTEP
Kevin Pangos Gonzaga
LeBryan Nash Oklahoma State
Derrick Marks Boise State
Briante Weber VCU
Jarvis Summers Mississippi
Andre Hollins Minnesota
Seth Tuttle Northern Iowa
Rayvonte Rice Illinois
Will Cummings Temple
Corey Walden Eastern Kentucky
Gabe Olaseni Iowa
Royce O'Neale Baylor
Nnana Egwu Illinois
David Kravish Cal

From the list above, exactly half elected to participate at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Hillard, Washburn, Newbill, Atkins, Lalanne, Saunders most notably), while half elected not to. It's difficult to say at this stage whether attending or not attending the PIT would have made any real difference. A huge amount of ink is dropped each year about the debate around the NCAA's Early-Entry rules and how unfair they are—which they certainly are (international prospects can be in the NBA Draft up to three times, while collegiate only get one real shot). But some type of discussion should be had about the NCAA seniors who seemingly get the short end of the stick every year in the NBA Draft evaluation process. They are damned if they go to Portsmouth, and damned if they don't. These players deserve a chance to compete against the other top prospects in the draft, and it's unfortunate that they are shut out year after year due to a numbers game.

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