UCLA guard Lonzo Ball has passed on the chance to compete at the 2017 NBA Draft Combine.
The 2017 NBA Draft Combine? No thanks. That’s what Lonzo Ball is saying anyway. Ball and a number of top NBA Draft prospects will not participate at the NBA Draft Combine.
The Vertical’s Shams Charania was the first to report the news.
Ball and Markelle Fultz are the two players battling for the top spot in the 2017 NBA Draft. Both point guards competed in the Pac 12 this past year in college and have different skill sets. While both players are point guards, Lonzo Ball is known as an elite distributor while Fultz is the more of a polished scoring guard. While some teams will prefer one over the other, both players will likely get picked first and second overall.
Ball, the freshman sensation from UCLA, has been in the news recently for other reasons. Nike, Under Armour and Adidas have made it be known they are not interested in a shoe deal with Lonzo Ball. This likely transpired after his father LaVar Ball stated they were looking to co-brand with Big Baller Brand.
The trend of skipping the combine isn’t out of the ordinary. Ben Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, skipped the combine a year ago. Two years ago Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid did the same. As of now, it is unclear what other top prospects will decide to pass on their invitations to the combine.
Mark it down on your calendars, the 2017 NBA Draft Combine takes place from May 9-14 in Chicago. The Lottery that will decide draft positioning in the first round will take place on Tuesday, May 16. The Lottery may be the most intriguing part of the process due to the fact that Ball is infatuated with playing for his hometown Lakers.
Lonzo Ball averaged 14.6 points and 7.6 assists per game over the course of the 2016-17 season in college.