Alabama Basketball: Chance to play professionally for four Tide players

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

Over the next four to six weeks, four Alabama Basketball players will learn what comes next in their playing careers. At least two of them will be preparing for and awaiting the NBA Draft on July 29. One or two more must make a decision about another season of college basketball by one minute before midnight on July 17.

The former Crimson Tide players firmly available for the NBA Draft are Herbert Jones and John Petty Jr. Less firm but possibly choosing to be a ‘one-and-done’ player is Josh Primo. The fourth Crimson Tide player is Jaden Shackelford who is expected to withdraw from the Draft.

From June 19 through June 27, potential NBA draftees will work to showcase their talents under close scrutiny of NBA teams. The first event is a three-day NBA G League Elite Camp. Forty guys will compete and a small number of them will possibly be added to the NBA Combine that begins on June 21. Five players from the SEC were invited. Jaden Shackelford was not one of them.

Herbert Jones, John Petty Jr. and Josh Primo have already accepted invitations to the NBA Combine. The Combine group is 69 players and also includes international players and four players already in the NBA G League.

A full list of Combine players is available here.

Alabama Basketball: Only two SEC teams have three Combine players; Crimson Tide and Vols.

The SEC has 15 Combine participants from seven of its schools. The next highest number of players from a conference is the ACC, with 10 players.

The NBA Draft is two rounds, totaling 60 spots for players. At first look, the 69 invited to the Combine appear to have a high probability of being drafted. The numbers are a bit misleading. At least four players, in almost every first-round mock draft, are skipping the Combine. They are college players, Cade Cunningham of Oklahoma State, Jalen Suggs from Gonzaga, Franz Wagner from Michigan and Chris Duarte from Oregon. In addition, several top international prospects are skipping the Combine.

At least two of the G League players attending the Combine are considered Draft locks. Considering all the variables, the number of NBA Draft slots available to the 69 Combine participants (and possibly a few more added through the G League Elite Camp) will be in the low fifties. If the final Combine number is 74, about 70 percent of the Combine participants will be drafted.

More than a few players will have a much lower than 70 percent probability of being drafted. Based on multiple mocks, it appears the only Alabama basketball player with a higher than 70 percent chance of being drafted is Herbert Jones. Despite some mocks showing Josh Primo going in the first round and John Petty being chosen in the second – neither player is a Draft-lock. It is obvious Jaden Shackelford will not be drafted in 2021.

dark. Next. Why repeating as champions is so hard

Alabama basketball fans can be relaxed pulling for Jones, Petty and Primo. Even if Primo and Shackelford move to the professional ranks, Nate Oats will have a more talented roster than last season.