What is the NBA Draft Combine? Format, history, and more

NBA Draft Combine drills in Chicago
NBA Draft Combine drills in Chicago / Anadolu/GettyImages

Every year, the NBA Draft Combine is a chance for prospects to show their skills in front of countless NBA team representatives and improve their chances in the draft. The first one took place in 1987. At the combine, players will go through drills, team interviews, scrimmages, athletic testing, and medical examinations and have their measurements taken. 

In recent years, players like Jalen Williams, Brandin Podziemski, Kevin Huerter, and Donte DiVincenzo all improved their standings in the draft with impressive performances at the combine. Especially this year, with a draft that still seems relatively open, successful showings at the combine could be huge for several prospects. 

The combine can also help lower-profile prospects decide whether or not they want to keep their names in the draft or go back to college. May 29 marks the NCAA withdrawal deadline. 

For the first time this year, participation will be mandatory for all invited players unless they are playing for teams that are still in season, dealing with serious injuries, or other serious circumstances. They may still choose to sit out the scrimmages, however. In past years, many players have chosen to do so. 

When and where is the 2024 NBA Draft Combine? 

This year, the NBA Draft Combine will take place from May 12-19 in Chicago. 

How to watch the 2024 NBA Draft Combine?

Fans with cable can watch the combine on NBATV and ESPN2. Without cable, you can watch it on ESPN+, the NBA App, YouTube TV, and fuboTV. 

Who is invited to the NBA Draft Combine? 

Every year, all NBA teams vote for who they want to see at the Draft Combine. This year, 78 players were invited, including Rob Dillingham, Zach Edey, Bronny James, and Alexandre Sarr among others. For the full list, click here

Who should Magic fans keep an eye on?

The Magic are not a lottery pick this year, but they have the 18th overall pick. Some names to watch for that pick at the combine are Kel’El Ware, Kyshawn George, Tristan Da Silva, Ja’Kobe Walter, Yves Missi, and Tidjane Salaun, for example.