Livonia — The official list of players invited to the NBA Combine hasn’t been released yet, but in a report from Yahoo! Sports published Friday, Jaren Jackson Jr. is on that list.
That’s not a surprise for the 6-foot-11 Jackson, who played one season at Michigan State before deciding last month he would enter the draft. After all, most projections have the power forward going in the top five spots of the draft to be held June 21 in New York.
Whether Jackson accepts the invitation is another question. Last season, several of the top picks decided not to take part in the Combine. But on Friday night at Pro Sports Zone while taking part in an autograph signing, Jackson said he expects to attend this year’s Combine that runs May 16-20.
A representative from CAA Sports, Jackson’s agency, said it still hasn’t been determined if Jackson would attend, leaving open the possibility he might pass on the event or perhaps attend but only participate in certain aspects of the Combine.
The last Michigan State freshman to leave after one season — Deyonta Davis in 2016 — opted to attend the Combine but did not work out and only participated in interviews with team representatives.
Also on the list of invited players was Miles Bridges, Jackson’s teammate at Michigan State who left after two seasons with the Spartans. He’s projected to go toward the end of the lottery — the top 14 picks of the draft.
Michigan’s Moritz Wagner was invited for the second straight season. He declared for the draft shortly after helping the Wolverines reach the national-championship game.
Not on the invite list were Michigan State sophomore Nick Ward and Michigan sophomore Charles Matthews. Neither has hired an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning to school.
However, even though neither was reportedly invited to the Combine, they can still work out with teams and get a grader from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee. They’ll have until May 30 to decide whether they want to remain in the draft or return to school.
As for Jackson, he was enjoying himself Friday night, interacting with fans who lined up outside the story at Laurel Park Place well before the signing that started at 5:30 p.m.
He sat at a table with pen in hand and joked with those in line.
“I’m a working man now,” he said with a laugh.