Draft Express reported over the weekend the list of invitees to the NBA Combine May 9-14, and Peter Jok’s name was not among the 66 listed. It’s the second straight year he was not invited. Instead, he’s on the list of alternates.
The NBA combine is broken into two groups: those who are measured and interviewed (typically lottery-expected players), and others who will also participate in 5-on-5. Jok would attend if enough players in the second group decline their invite. NBA teams vote on which prospects they want to see at the event in Chicago.
Rule changes in 2016 allowed for an underclassman to enter the draft and go through the process, including the Combine, without an agent before officially throwing his name into the Draft pool. By my initial look through last year’s attendees, at least four (Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, UNC’s Justin Jackson, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan, and Maryland’s Melo Trimble) were underclassmen who attended the Combine and returned to school.
On the whole, a record-low 11 seniors were invited. In a string of tweets, Draft Express’s Jonathan Givony attributed this, in part, to the large number of underclassmen who declared without an agent. The current landscape potentially limits their availability for team workouts and interviews until June 12th, as underclassmen may withdraw their names up to 10 days before the draft.
But part is due to the record high number of early entry candidates, which has caused NBA teams to vote in far more underclassmen than ever.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 29, 2017
Last year, Pete met with a few teams, including a workout with the New Orleans Pelicans where he sprained his thumb. After a strong senior season where he led the Big Ten in scoring (second among Power 5 Conference seniors), he’s listed in the top 100 of ESPN’s draft board. This would place him in the range of undrafted free agents for the Summer League.
Iowa’s had players in the prior three years attend the combine: Devyn Marble and Aaron White attended before being drafted in the second round, while Jarrod Uthoff went undrafted before a successful late-season audition gave him a spot on the Dallas Mavericks.
I'd still expect Jok’s All-Big Ten senior season still lands him a spot in the NBA’s summer league. We wish Pete the best of luck as he pursues his professional career.
After a batch of one-and-dones withdrew from the Combine, Draft Express moved Peter Jok’s name from the alternates to the invitees. My initial read was incorrect in thinking that only withdrawals from 5v5 participants would result in Pete’s inclusion.
Not attending was never a death sentence for Jok’s NBA prospects, but attending will now give him the opportunity to meet with as many teams as possible, while giving him another opportunity to showcase his skills. Improved defense coupled with his sharpshooting could vault him into the back half of the NBA draft.
He is now the fourth participant in four years for Fran McCaffery’s Iowa Hawkeyes.