NBA, NBPA Agree To Rule Requiring All Players In Draft To Participate In Combine Testing

The NBA and NBPA have agreed to major changes to the draft process as part of its new collective bargaining agreement.

Beginning in 2024, all invited players will be required to attend and participate in the NBA draft combine or be ineligible to be drafted until the “first subsequent draft for which the player attends and fully participates.”

Participation will include league medical examinations, sharing of medical history and biomechanical and functional movement testing, as well as strength and agility testing, shooting drills, performance testing and anthropometric measurements. 

This represents a significant shift in favor of NBA teams that have long lobbied for this rule change. Agents of elite prospects have regularly strategized to keep medical information away from franchises they have perceived as less appealing.

Players who are physically unable to participate, because of playing with a FIBA club still in-season, family tragedy, the birth of a child, or an injury, as determined by the medical director of the combine, will be required to complete components at a later date. 

The second major change that will be instituted in the new CBA involves doing away with automatic eligibility for high school or collegiate players who sign professional contracts with entities such as G League Ignite, Overtime Elite (OTE) or the Australian NBL.

In the past, players who signed with such entities would be automatically eligible for the subsequent NBA draft, regardless of whether they were interested in doing so or not, provided they were turning 19 in that calendar year.

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