2016 NBA Combine Participant List and Analysis

2016 NBA Combine Participant List and Analysis
May 05, 2016, 03:55 pm
The official list of 63 participants, via the NBA.

Players Who Declined Invites

Ben Simmons, LSU
Domantas Sabonis, Gonzaga
Dejounte Murray, Washington

Analysis Simmons electing not to attend is not a major surprise, as it's become customary for top picks to decline invites in the past few years. While we fondly recall the likes of Greg Oden and Kevin Durant jacking up 3-pointers during full-court transition drills at the 2007 NBA Combine in Orlando, those days are long past. Anthony Bennett started the trend in 2013 by electing to stay home and nurse a shoulder injury he had surgery on a few weeks prior to the Combine. In 2014, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid all did the same, while in 2015, Karl Towns, Jahlil Okafor and Emmanuel Mudiay followed suit.

The reason for that? Agents would prefer not to have their clients go through the exhaustive medical screening the NBA puts every Combine participant through, especially now that the Combine is held before the official order of the NBA draft is set at the Lottery (this year May 17th). The physical is an incredibly important component to most team's decision making process, and is one of the few pieces of leverage agents have.

On the other hand, it is smart for Brandon Ingram to take the opposite approach, just to further highlight the differences between him and Simmons. Ingram is likely attempting to show he has nothing to hide, as unlike Simmons his measurements will likely be extremely impressive, and there are no questions whatsoever about his competitiveness.

While we are speculating, that may have played a role in Domantas Sabonis' decision not to attend the Combine, as he may attempt to avoid being drafted by certain teams in his range, preferring to be steered in other directions potentially.

Dejounte Murray is represented by the same agent as Ben Simmons, Rich Paul, so there could be a similar line of thinking there as with Sabonis. Another possibility is he may have been forced to stay home by refusing to participate in the five on five games the NBA is mandating many borderline first round prospects compete in.

Players Unable To Attend

Aleksandar Vezenkov (Barcelona)
Andrey Desyatnikov (St. Petersburg)
Ante Zizic (Cibona)
Blaz Mesicek (Olimpija Ljubljana)
Dragan Bender (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Furkan Korkmaz (Anadolu Efes)
Georgios Papagiannis (Panathinaikos)
Guerschon Yabusele (Rouen)
Isaia Cordinier (Denain)
Ivica Zubac (Mega Leks)
Juan Hernangomez (Estudiantes)
Marko Arapovic (Cedevita)
Mathias Lessort (Chalon)
Moussa Diagne (Barcelona)
Paul Zipser (Bayern Munich)
Petr Cornelie (Le Mans)
Rade Zagorac (Mega Leks)
Timothe Luwawu (Mega Leks)

Analysis Conducting the Combine early in May means that most international leagues are still in full swing, which makes it impossible for the majority of European prospects to take part. This is nothing new, and is to be expected. Teams may elect to share in the costs of conducting medical examinations for this group of players once their teams' seasons are finished later in the month or in early June, or they may just decide to pick players without the benefit of their doctors' input.

Full Invite List

Name -- Height -- Position -- Age -- Team -- Nationality
A.J. English 6'4" PG/SG 23.8 Iona USA
A.J. Hammons 7'0" C 23.6 Purdue USA
Ben Bentil 6'9" PF 21.1 Providence USA
Brandon Ingram 6'9" SF 18.6 Duke USA
Brice Johnson 6'9" PF 21.8 North Carolina USA
Buddy Hield 6'4" SG 22.3 Oklahoma Bahamas
Caleb Swanigan 6'8" PF 19.0 Purdue USA
Caris LeVert 6'7" PG/SG 21.6 Michigan USA
Cat Barber 6'2" PG 21.7 N.C. State USA
Cheick Diallo 6'9" PF/C 19.6 Kansas Mali
Chinanu Onuaku 6'10" C 19.5 Louisville USA
Damian Jones 6'11" C 20.8 Vanderbilt USA
Daniel Hamilton 6'8" SG 20.7 Connecticut USA
DeAndre Bembry 6'6" SF 21.8 Saint Joseph's USA
Dedric Lawson 6'8" SF 18.5 Memphis USA
Demetrius Jackson 6'1" PG 21.6 Notre Dame USA
Denzel Valentine 6'6" SG 22.4 Michigan St USA
Deyonta Davis 6'10" PF/C 19.4 Michigan St USA
Diamond Stone 7'0" C 19.2 Maryland USA
Dorian Finney-Smith 6'8" SF 23.0 Florida USA
Elgin Cook 6'6" SF 23.3 Oregon USA
Gary Payton 6'4" PG 23.4 Oregon St USA
Georges Niang 6'8" SF/PF 22.8 Iowa St USA
Henry Ellenson 6'10" PF 19.3 Marquette USA
Isaiah Cousins 6'4" SG 22.1 Oklahoma USA
Isaiah Miles 6'7" PF 21.9 Saint Joseph's USA
Isaiah Whitehead 6'4" SG 21.1 Seton Hall USA
Jake Layman 6'9" SF 22.1 Maryland USA
Jakob Poeltl 7'1" C 20.5 Utah Austria
Jamal Murray 6'5" PG/SG 19.1 Kentucky Canada
Jaron Blossomgame 6'7" SF 22.6 Clemson USA
Jarrod Uthoff 6'9" SF/PF 22.9 Iowa USA
Jaylen Brown 6'7" SF 19.5 California USA
Joel Bolomboy 6'9" PF 22.2 Weber St Ukraine
Josh Hart 6'5" SG 21.1 Villanova USA
Justin Jackson 6'8" SF 21.1 North Carolina USA
Kay Felder 5'9" PG 21.1 Oakland USA
Kris Dunn 6'4" PG 22.1 Providence USA
Kyle Wiltjer 6'9" PF 23.5 Gonzaga USA
Malachi Richardson 6'6" SG/SF 20.3 Syracuse USA
Malcolm Brogdon 6'5" SG 23.3 Virginia USA
Malik Beasley 6'4" SG 19.4 Florida St USA
Malik Newman 6'4" PG/SG 19.2 Mississippi St. USA
Marcus Lee 6'10" PF 21.6 Kentucky USA
Marcus Paige 6'2" PG 22.6 North Carolina USA
Marquese Chriss 6'9" PF 18.8 Washington USA
Melo Trimble 6'3" PG 21.2 Maryland USA
Michael Gbinije 6'7" SG/SF 23.9 Syracuse USA
Nigel Hayes 6'8" PF 21.3 Wisconsin USA
Pascal Siakam 6'9" PF 22.2 New Mexico St Cameroon
Patrick McCaw 6'7" SG 20.5 UNLV USA
Perry Ellis 6'8" SF 22.6 Kansas USA
Robert Carter 6'8" PF/C 22.0 Maryland USA
Ron Baker 6'4" SG 23.1 Wichita St USA
Skal Labissiere 7'0" PF/C 20.1 Kentucky Haiti
Stephen Zimmerman 7'0" C 19.6 UNLV USA
Taurean Prince 6'7" SF 21.7 Baylor USA
Thon Maker 7'0" PF 19.1 Orangeville Prep Sudan
Troy Williams 6'6" SF 21.3 Indiana USA
Tyler Ulis 5'9" PG 20.3 Kentucky USA
Wade Baldwin 6'3" PG 20.1 Vanderbilt USA
Wayne Selden 6'6" SG 21.5 Kansas USA
Zhou Qi 7'2" C 20.3 Xinjiang China

Analysis: While the list of players participating is interesting, it will be just as telling to see which prospects actually decide to participate in the different components of the Combine. In years past, we've seen more and more top prospects not only elect not to play five on five, but also decide not to participate in any of the light shooting drills, or even conduct athletic testing. Last year, only one player who was eventually drafted in the lottery, Cameron Payne, elected to do anything with a basketball at all. Only three players picked in the top 15, Devin Booker, Payne and Kelly Oubre, participated in the athletic testing. In terms of the invites, it's perhaps more interesting to note which players are not on this list. They include some of the best seniors in college basketball, who appear to have been pushed out by the flood of underclassmen that are testing the waters thanks to the NCAA's new rules.

Not Invited (for Now)

Alex Caruso (Texas A&M)
Alex Poythress (Kentucky)
Damion Lee (Louisville)
Daniel Ochefu (Villanova)
Danuel House (Texas A&M)
David Walker (Northeastern)
Egidijus Mockevicius (Evansville)
Fred VanVleet (Wichita State)
Jameel Warney (Stony Brook)
Josh Adams (Wyoming)
Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona)
Kyle Collinsworth (BYU)
Patricio Garino (George Washington)
Prince Ibeh (Texas)
Rasheed Sulaimon (Maryland)
Shawn Long (Louisiana Lafayette)
Sheldon McClellan (Miami)
Shevon Thompson (George Mason)
Tyrone Wallace (Cal)
Yogi Ferrell (Indiana)
Zach Auguste (Notre Dame)


Abdul Malik-Abu (N.C. State)
Alec Peters (Valparaiso)
Amida Brimah (UConn)
Andrew White (Nebraska)
Brannen Greene (Kansas)*
Derrick Jones (UNLV)*
Dillon Brooks (Oregon)
Emmanuel Malou (Yuba)
Isaiah Briscoe (Kentucky)
Isaiah Taylor (Texas)*
Jalen Reynolds* (Xavier)
James Blackmon (Indiana)
James Webb III (Boise State)*
Malik Pope (San Diego State)
Mamadou NDiaye (UC Irvine)
Moses Kingsley (Arkansas)
Tim Quarterman (LSU)*
Trevon Bluiett (Xavier)
Tyler Dorsey (Oregon)
Vince Edwards (Purdue)

*hired an agent.

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