by Rob Joyce

As the rules for invitees have been adapted, the NBA Combine is becoming a bigger showcase every year. With the ability for college basketball players to declare for the draft without signing an agent, they can go through the entire process – including the combine – and return to school if they need more seasoning.

With over 60 players in attendance in Chicago last weekend, here’s who helped their stock the most heading into June’s draft:

Frank Jackson:

frank jackson 5 Biggest NBA Combine Winners

Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

One of players still without an agent, the Duke freshman helped his case to declare for the NBA. The 19-year-old had the second-highest max vertical leap at the combine (42 inches) and had a nice five-on-five performance (13 points, four assists, one turnover). He’s still likely a late first-rounder, but his stock is a lot higher than it was heading into Chicago.

Ike Anigbogu:

ike anigbogu 5 Biggest NBA Combine Winners

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Much of the NBA draft hype, especially for the freshmen coming out, belongs to “potential”. Anigbogu (first name pronounced “EE-Kay”) didn’t put up gaudy numbers at UCLA – in fact he didn’t even average five points a game. He has a 7-foot-6 wingspan to make up for a slight lack of height, and still being 18 years old, teams are willing to take a risk on the long and strong guys who need some refinement with their skills.

Jordan Bell:

jordan bell1 5 Biggest NBA Combine Winners

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Bell had a national coming out party as he helped lead Oregon to its first Final Four since 1939 and he carried that through the combine. In testing he was the second-most agile player, and had the second-highest max vertical leap among all forwards. In the five-on-fives, he showed off his continued offensive improvement to complement his bread-and-butter with five blocked shots on defense.

Kyle Kuzma:

kyle kuzma 5 Biggest NBA Combine Winners

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Coming out of Utah, Kuzma signed with an agent despite not having a great draft stock. He went a long way towards easing many minds, shining in the five-on-five scrimmages. He led all scorers in Game 2 with 20 points, including three three-pointers. At 6-foot-9 he showed flashes of what a stretch-four needs to be in today’s NBA.

OG Anunoby:

og anunoby 5 Biggest NBA Combine Winners

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The former Indiana Hoosier did all he could to secure his stock without actually performing in any drills. His sophomore season in Bloomington was cut short because of a torn ACL, so he was limited to merely getting his measurements taken as he continues rehab. Despite not playing in four months, he checked in at 6-foot-7 (with a 7-2 wingspan), 232 pounds with just seven percent body fat. A lockdown defender, he has the ideal small-ball forward body.


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