Ben Simmons Skips Draft Combine, Thon Maker Looks To Benefit From It

Ben Simmons Skips Draft Combine, Thon Maker Looks To Benefit From It

The NBA has released its official 2016 NBA Draft Combine list today.


One name who isn’t on the list of expected attendees is our own Ben Simmons. This shouldn’t however be too much of a surprise to those keeping track.


The NBA Draft Combine is a multi-day showcase which occurs every May before the NBA draft. It’s purpose is to allow NBA coaches, general managers, and scouts to evaluate draft prospects prior to the draft.


It’s common for the players projected for the top two or three picks is to skip the combine. This is a strategy which hopes to gain leverage over  NBA teams. Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor skipped last year’s event, while Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Joel Embiid skipped 2014’s camp.


Athletes must allow teams to take physical measurements, participate in interviews, undergo shooting drills, take medical tests, go through five-on-five drills and perform various athletic tests. The combine is an invite only event offered only to the players considered likely to be drafted by NBA teams.


Jonathon Givony of DraftExpress noted that Simmons’ camp would be looking to avoid the mandatory medical screening at the event, keeping all of the cards in his hands, as opposed to the NBA teams’.


“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,” Givony wrote.


“The physical is an incredibly important component to most teams’ decision making process, and is one of the few pieces of leverage agents have.”


There will still be quite a few heavy hitters around, though. Unlike last year, where five of the top nine players on the board did not attend the combine, eight of the top 10 players on the board will be there, which further signifies just how wide open this draft truly is.


One of those will be Australian, Thon Maker who has chosen to attend the combine, with the event likely a significant portion of his pre-draft process. Maker is expected to measure well at the event, so the on-court drills will be the key if he’s to improve his draft stock.


Another Aussie connection (albeit a thin one) that is attending the NBA Draft Combine is Jarrod Uthoff from Iowa University who is a cousin of former NBL big man Dean Uthoff. Uthoff will be hoping that Ben Simmons isn’t the only player in the NBA draft related to an NBL legend.


Beyond Simmons, everyone feels like there is actually something to be gained from the process.


Other quick notes from the combine list.

  • China’s Zhou Qi is going to be in attendance. He is currently the No. 36 player on the board, and given the way he measured at Hoop Summit last year (7-2 with a 7-6.5 wingspan) he’ll likely be a major attraction here even if he doesn’t play in the scrimmages.
  • Quite a few players here will be trying to make an impression on scouts in order to make a decision as to whether or not they will stay in the draft or return to college.
  • Five players played their way here from the Portsmouth Invitational, held last month. They are Elgin Cook, Isaiah Cousins, Isaiah Miles, Dorian Finney-Smith and A.J. English.
  • A pair of potential first round picks will not be in attendance: Dejounte Murray and Domantas Sabonis are absent from the combine list. Both have hired agents and will be in the draft.
  • The notable players absent from this list, as they were not officially invited: Sheldon McClellan at Miami, Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey at Oregon, Isaiah Briscoe at Kentucky, Vince Edwards at Purdue, Yogi Ferrell at Indiana, Fred VanVleet from Wichita State, Malik Pope from San Diego State, Shawn Long from Louisiana-Lafayette, and Damion Lee from Louisville.


Full List Of Athletes Attending NBA Draft Combine 2016.

Ron Baker, Wichita State

Wade Baldwin, Vanderbilt

Cat Barber, NC State

Malik Beasley, Florida State

DeAndre Bembry, St. Joseph’s

Ben Bentil, Providence

Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson

Joel Bolomboy, Weber State

Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

Jaylen Brown, California

Robert Carter, Maryland

Marquese Chriss, Washington

Elgin Cook, Oregon

Isaiah Cousins, Oklahoma

Deyonta Davis, Michigan State

Cheick Diallo, Kansas

Kris Dunn, Providence

Henry Ellenson, Marquette

Perry Ellis, Kansas

AJ English, Iona

Kay Felder, Oakland

Dorian Finney-Smith, Florida

Michael Gbinije, Syracuse

Daniel Hamilton, Connecticut

AJ Hammons, Purdue

Josh Hart, Villanova

Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma

Brandon Ingram, Duke

Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame

Justin Jackson, North Carolina

Brice Johnson, North Carolina

Damian Jones, Vanderbilt

Skal Labissiere, Kentucky

Dedric Lawson, Memphis

Jake Layman, Maryland

Marcus Lee, Kentucky

Caris LeVert, Michigan

Thon Maker, Orangeville Prep Athletic Institute

Patrick McCaw, UNLV

Isaiah Miles, St. Joseph’s

Jamal Murray, Kentucky

Malik Newman, Mississippi State

Georges Niang, Iowa State

Chinanu Onuaku, Louisville

Marcus Paige, North Carolina

Gary Payton II, Oregon State

Jakob Poeltl, Utah

Taurean Prince, Baylor

Zhou Qi, Xinjiang (China)

Malachi Richardson, Syracuse

Wayne Selden, Kansas

Pascal Siakam, New Mexico State

Diamond Stone, Maryland

Caleb Swanigan, Purdue

Melo Trimble, Maryland

Tyler Ulis, Kentucky

Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa

Denzel Valentine, Michigan State

Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall

Troy Williams, Indiana

Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga

Stephen Zimmerman, UNLV

Dan BoyceAuthor: Dan Boyce (358 Posts)

Dan Boyce is a die-hard Sydney Kings fan who grew up in Melbourne during the roaring 90's of Australian Basketball and spent far too much time collecting Futera NBL Basketball cards