Originally published April 28, 2018 at 07:51p.m., updated April 28, 2018 at 09:06p.m.
When NBA general managers, coaches and scouts descend on Chicago next month for the league’s draft combine, at least five — and possibly six — former Kansas players will be among the 70 or so prospects competing for their attention.
Guards Devonte’ Graham, Malik Newman and Svi Mykhailiuk all received invites, the Journal-World confirmed on Saturday, before KU basketball announced Udoka Azubuike and Billy Preston did, as well. Lagerald Vick currently stands as an alternate.
Should one or more prospects decline to attend the combine, as is fairly typical, Vick would be among the possible replacements.
Azubuike opted to go through the predraft process without an agent, allowing him the option of returning to KU for his junior season. Vick and Newman decided to leave permanently. Graham and Mykhailiuk, of course, were seniors during KU’s 2017-18 season, which concluded with a trip to the Final Four — a feat the team achieved without Preston, who never played in a regular-season game.
The most recent top 100 prospect rankings from Jonathan Givony at ESPN project Graham (No. 43), Newman (No. 46) and Mykhailiuk (No.55) as second-round talents in the two-round draft.
Givony ranks Preston 86th. Neither Azubuike nor Vick appear in his top 100.
Only 60 players will be selected in the draft. ESPN’s mock draft predicts Graham will go 42nd overall, with Newman getting taken right after him, at No. 43. Mykhailiuk isn’t far behind, at No. 49.
The NBA Draft Combine runs May 16-20 in Chicago.
The deadline for early entrants who didn’t sign with an agent, such as Azubuike, to withdraw their names from the pool of candidates is June 11.
The 2018 NBA Draft is slated for June 21, in Brooklyn, N.Y.