NBA to ban players from being drafted if they skip draft combine, per report

The NBA is taking a hard line against its future players over the draft combine and how medicals are handled.

The league and the National Basketball Players Association have agreed to some significant changes to the pre-NBA Draft process, according to a memo obtained by ESPN, most notably ruling players ineligible for the draft if they skip the draft combine.

Under the new system as reported, all players who are invited to the combine will be required to attend and participate. If they do not, they'll be ruled ineligible to be drafted until the "first subsequent draft for which the player attends and fully participates."

The changes reportedly will go into effect in 2024.

Combine participation will reportedly include medical examinations, sharing of medical history and biomechanical and functional movement testing, strength and agility testing, shooting drills, performance testing and anthropometric measurements. There will also be team interviews, media circuits, player development sessions and other assessments. Players will reportedly not be required to compete in 5-on-5 scrimmages.

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 17: The logo of the 2019 NBA Combine is seen at Quest MultiSport Complex on May 17, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Future NBA players will no longer be allowed to skip the draft combine. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

NBA teams have reportedly been pushing for these changes for years, as elite players and agents have previously attempted to avoid certain franchises by hiding their medicals and hoping that scares off teams. This new system takes control of those medicals out of their hands. Top players have also skipped the combine in the past simply because they didn't feel the need to participate.

There will reportedly be ways to get out of the combine, though. Players will be able to turn down invitations if they are physically unable to participate, playing for an in-season FIBA team or dealing with a family death or the birth of a child, though they'll need approval from the medical director of the combine and will still be required to complete components of the combine later.

Another major change will be removing the automatic draft eligibility for high school and college players who sign professional contracts with organizations such as the G League Ignite or the Australian NBL. That automatic eligibility previously resulted in several teenage players going needlessly undrafted.

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