Andrew Nembhard was turning heads at the G League Combine but it wasn’t enough for him to be invited to the main NBA Combine where the top 60-ish players (we’ll see which projected lottery talents actually attend) put their talents on display.
This was the first season the G League hosted a combine. The NBA combine invited 66 players while the G League invited 40 with Nembhard being one of them. With the G League combine taking place first the top performers of that camp would be invited to the big leagues, the NBA Combine.
Nembhard was not one of those players.
Even though he performed well in a lot of the events he didn’t do enough to advance. All 30 teams had scouts in attendance at the G League Combine and they submitted votes as to who they would like to see more of and the 10 players with the most votes got the invitation to main camp. Due to a tie in voting, 11 players ended up getting the call.
These are the players that were chosen over Nembhard:
Terence Davis (Ole Miss)
Dewan Hernandez (Miami)
Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
Reggie Perry (Mississippi State)
DaQuan Jeffries (Tulane)
Tyler Cook (Iowa)
Jared Harper (Auburn)
Marial Shayok (Iowa State)
Tacko Fall (Central Florida)
Cody Martin (Nevada)
Terance Mann (Florida State)
Not getting selected to advance to the NBA Combine suggests he isn’t in a position to be drafted and for Gator fans holding their breath about his decision this could suggest he’s coming back to Gainesville.
Much to my chagrin they have not made the results of the athletic tests from the G League combine available to the public yet but there was a stream I had access to where I could watch Nembhard go through the tests, though I didn’t know official numbers. For a player like Nembhard whose athleticism will be one of the biggest questions relative to his professional prospects the numbers he posted will be extremely important, perhaps more so for him than any other player. When those numbers are posted it will be fascinating to see how he did relative to other attendees of the combine.
I was able to both watch the two scrimmages he played in as well as see the box scores afterwards. Here are his stat lines:
19:14 Minutes Played
1-5 Field Goal
17:52 Minutes Played
1-2 Field Goal
As you can see from the numbers he had some quiet games. I will note that objectively speaking the lineups he was playing with were some of the least talented at the combine and that’s reflected in the plus/minus numbers as you can see he was a negative in his minutes. He created a lot of really good assist opportunities but his teammates were just not hitting shots. I’m sure scouts noticed his poise and the opportunities he gave his teammates but it would have been great for them to hit some shots and have Nembhard’s numbers go up.
You could also tell Nembhard was noticeably getting after it on the defensive end. His 3 steals in game 1 showed his nose for the ball but it was his individual one-on-one defense that I thought looked pretty good and better than what we saw in his freshman year. That could mean he is already a bit stronger and more athletic than when the season ended, or it could also be the result of the fact he got to play a lot less minutes in these combine games than he was tasked with for the Gators. If he does return to Florida, seeing the defense he played at the combine will be encouraging.
Even though Nembhard won’t be attending the NBA Combine that doesn’t mean his pre-draft process is over. He can still do individual workouts with teams and he has already done a few with more planned. There has been a lot of emphasis placed on combine results the last few years and while it matters, it’s actually the individual workouts and interviews that have been really important in seeing who a team likes. As we all know Nembhard is a mature kid who speaks well and I’m sure he’ll earn some fans when it comes to the interview portion of these workouts.
We’re likely still a few weeks from hearing what Nembhard’s decision will be but the fact he wasn’t invited to the NBA Combine suggests he probably wouldn’t be drafted and that could be a good thing for the Gators’ chances of getting another season out of him.