The NBA recently put together a list of 105 players — voted on by the league’s general managers — that could be invited to this year’s NBA Draft Combine. Currently, there’s no set date, time or location for the annual pre-draft event. There’s little certainty that the event will be help; however, elements of it could take place virtually as the league looks to work amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
This list of 105 players will be voted on, and the top 60-70 players will receive an invitation.
Of this group, 13 players either played for an ACC program during the 2019-20 season or were signed to play for an ACC team in the 2020 recruiting class. High school product Josh Hall, a former NC State signee, is in the pool of 105 players. Louisville signee Jay Scrubb, the top JUCO prospect in the class, will also head to the draft.
- Cole Anthony, North Carolina, PG
- Vernon Carey Jr., Duke, C
- Mamadi Diakite, Virginia, PF/C
- Steven Enoch, Louisville, C
- Trent Forrest, Florida State, PG
- Josh Hall, NC State signee, F
- Elijah Hughes, Syracuse, SG
- Tre Jones, Duke, PG
- Jordan Nwora, Louisville, F
- Jay Scrubb, Louisville JUCO signee, G
- Cassius Stanley, Duke, SG
- Devin Vassell, Florida State, SG/SF
- Patrick Williams, Florida State, F
This group is, of course, mostly composed of younger underclassmen. There are only three ACC seniors in the mix: Forrest, Enoch and Diakite. Forrest has the best chance of that trio to actually get drafted, though Diakite has a shot as well. Either way, I’d bet on Forrest to crack an NBA roster next season, somehow.
(Former NC State big man Omer Yurtseven, who transferred to Georgetown after the 2017-18 season, is also included in the list of 105 vote-getters.)
Two names of note, however, aren’t on the list: DJ Funderburk of NC State and Virginia’s Jay Huff. Back in early June, the NCAA extended the deadline for college prospects to decided whether or not to remain in the draft. In most years, players are allowed to go through the combine process if invited, then make a decision. With the draft pushed until October this year, though, the normal process has been thrown off — to say the least. (The initial deadline for the 2020 draft was set for June 3.)
Funderburk and Huff are the only ACC players remaining with their names still in the eligible draft pool. Both are great players, though there’s limited appeal in terms of their draft prospects, currently. It would seem as though those two will likely return to their college programs for next season; however, with the 2020-21 college basketball season up in the air, all bets are off.
Assuming Funderburk and Huff return, both emerge as likely All-ACC candidates from the frontcourt position. Virginia should have national title hopes with or without Huff, though if the 7-foot stretch-5 were to return, he would be a major boon in terms of offensive efficiency and defensive rim protection.
During the first week of May, the NBA postponed the 2020 draft lottery and combine; those events were set for May 19 and May 21-24, respectively.
Earlier this offseason, NC State coach Kevin Keatts said Funderburk was hoping to get in some workouts with NBA teams. Unfortunately, pre-draft workouts are shelved for 2020, at least for now. NBA teams reopened practice facilities briefly before the 22 predetermined teams left for the NBA “bubble” in late June/early July.
There’s a very good chance players like Matthew Hurt or Wendell Moore Jr. from Duke or North Carolina’s Garrison Brooks would’ve at least gone through the pre-draft process. Hurt likely could’ve scored a combine invite, too. Same with Louisville point guard David Johnson. However, all of those players quickly announced decisions to return to their college programs for at least one more season.