Andrew Nembhard’s summer just got a lot more interesting as he was invited to attend the G League Combine, the second tier event for players not invited to the main NBA Combine. At the G League Combine he won’t just be working out for G League teams as scouts from all 30 NBA teams will also be in attendance. Both the G League and NBA Combines are both in Chicago and the G League event takes place just a few days sooner. That also means that the top performers at the G League showcase will be invited to the NBA Combine as players projected to go near the top of the draft often don’t attend opening up spots for athletes who didn’t get the call during the first round of invites.
What does this mean for Nembhard’s potential draft stock? Let’s put it this way in terms of perception for the powers that be in the NBA and G League Combines. The NBA draft is two rounds meaning 60 players will be selected and the NBA invites 60 players to the NBA Combine. This is the first year they’ve done a full G League Combine and they invited 40 players. For that reason you could say that they perceive Nembhard to be somewhere between the 61st and 100th best prospect in the class. As someone who follows the draft closely, I’ll also point out that every single year there are more international players taken in the draft than there are invited to the combine. That means Nembhard could be higher on the combine invite list than he is on the big boards of a lot of teams. In my mind, that means he’s realistically somewhere between 61st and 115th or so.
Some of the other players invited to the G League combine are Luke Maye (North Carolina), Chris Silva (South Carolina), AJ Lawson (South Carolina), Myles Powell (Seton Hall), Jarron Cumberland (Cincinnati), and Silvio De Sousa (Kansas). I must also note that the entire list of players invited to both the NBA and G League Combine haven’t been made public so I’m only going off players that have publically announced they’ve been gotten the call. For that reason it’s a little bit tough to project where Nembhard’s standing is, especially not knowing how many other point guards will be there looking to show themselves off.
Nembhard’s performance in the physical testing is going to be fascinating and could speak a whole lot to his professional prospects and whether he’s coming back to Florida. He uses his incredible savvy on the court on both the offensive and defensive sides of the basketball but teams are going to have some concerns about his athleticism going in and how he tests in things like lane agility and vertical leap could either scare teams more or put some concerns to bed. The modern NBA is so predicated on athleticism that teams are looking at prospects much differently than they did in the past and that could hurt Nembhard.
Court vision, awareness, and IQ are the biggest strengths Nembhard brings to the table and unfortunately a combine setting isn’t going to be the best way for those traits to shine through. He played a whole lot of minutes for Florida this year which should give a lot of sample size for his intangibles but he’ll need showcase himself in the combine setting to really get teams interested. What feedback he receives will be really interesting and will go a long way in helping his decision of what he’ll do next season.
If Nembhard were to stay in the draft this year I don’t think he would be selected which is a fairly common opinion. However, I want to caution people from thinking that means he’ll be back to Florida with 100% certainty. If he wants to go pro and start living that lifestyle now he’ll do that even if he doesn’t get drafted. G League opportunities are getting better and better and if he wanted to go get a decent salary in Europe there might be chances for him there too. A player’s decision about whether or not to stay in the draft has more to do with what they want to do with their life more than whether or not they’ll get drafted and for that reason I don’t think we can be 100% sure he’s coming back. He did have discussions with Coach White about being a leader next year and for that reason I do think he’ll be returning, I’m just always cautious when it comes to dealing in absolutes.