Lonzo Ball Reportedly Will Skip 2017 NBA Draft Combine

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2017

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 24: Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins looks on in the first half against the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at FedExForum on March 24, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball will reportedly skip the 2017 NBA Draft Combine, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania and ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman.

Ball, who is widely expected to be a top-five pick, is taking a step several prospects in his position have in the past. For instance, 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons skipped the process entirely last year.

Two years earlier, Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid—who were selected first, second and third, respectively—all opted not to attend the pre-draft festivities in Chicago.

Reasons for skipping the combine can vary, but Draft Express' Jonathan Givony pointed to one major component last year after it was announced Simmons, Dejounte Murray and Domantas Sabonis would all be absent.

"Agents would prefer not to have their clients go through the exhaustive medical screening the NBA puts every Combine participant through, especially now that the Combine is held before the official order of the NBA draft is set at the Lottery (this year May 17th)," Givony wrote. "The physical is an incredibly important component to most team's decision making process, and is one of the few pieces of leverage agents have."

It should be noted that just because a player shows up, it doesn't mean he will participate fully. Last year, Brandon Ingram, Jamal Murray and Buddy Hield declined to participate in athletic testing.

The 2017 combine is scheduled to take place between May 9-14 in Chicago, with the draft lottery tabbed for Tuesday, May 16.