basketball Edit

Pair of Hogs invited to 2020 NBA Draft Combine

Mason Jones and Isaiah Joe were Arkansas' top two scorers in 2019-20.
Mason Jones and Isaiah Joe were Arkansas' top two scorers in 2019-20. (Arkansas Athletics)

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Mason Jones and Isaiah Joe have been invited to the 2020 NBA Draft Combine, a source confirmed to HawgBeat.

The Arkansas pair are expected to be among 60 participants in the combine, which was originally scheduled for May 21-24 before being postponed because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Whether or not the event actually happens is still up in the air. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported Sunday that the invitations were sent to players with a disclaimer that details had not yet been finalized, including if it will even happen ahead of the Oct. 16 draft.

If he accepts the invitation, Joe would effectively end his career with the Razorbacks. The NCAA’s new deadline for underclassmen to withdraw from the draft and return to school is Aug. 3 or 10 days after the combine, whichever comes first.

Considering the Aug. 3 date is just seven days away, he would not be able to participate in the combine and come back to Arkansas for his junior season. While Joe has left the door open for a possible return, Jones ended any chance of that for himself on May 1 by signing with an agent who was not approved by the NCAA.

According to many projections and prospect rankings, Joe and Jones are seen as possible second-round picks.

The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has Jones being picked 56th overall by the Charlotte Hornets and Joe going undrafted in his latest mock draft, which was published July 14. Both of them are listed on prospect lists by ESPN, CBS Sports and Bleacher Report, but not necessarily among the top 60 prospects.

Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report does, with Joe at No. 39 and Jones at No. 45, while ESPN has them at 60th and 76th, respectively, and CBS Sports has them at 50th and 64th.

A decision by Joe to accept the invitation to the combine and forgo his final two seasons of eligibility would force head coach Eric Musselman to replace his top three scorers from last season.

It would also create an open scholarship for the Razorbacks, as they’d be one below the 13-man limit allowed by the NCAA. Musselman could choose to fill it with another transfer or leave it open like he did last year.