French star and believed No. 1 pick Victor Vembanayama will skip the NBA Draft Combine

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Victor Vembanayama's team France is still competing during the Draft Combine, and may be right up to the NBA Draft. (AP/Michelle Euler)

Victor Vembanayama is skipping the NBA Draft Combine later this month, though he has a very good reason.

The French star and the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft is still competing with the Metropolitans 92. The team, which competes in the highest level of French basketball, has its last regular season game scheduled for May 16. The NBA Draft Combine runs from May 15-21 in Chicago.

Vembanayama averaged 21.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game for the Metropolitans 92, who currently hold a 23–10 record. Only Monaco has a better record in the league.

It is unclear when Vembanyama will travel to the US ahead of the NBA draft in June. Depending on how deep his team makes it into the postseason, it could lead to the draft – which is set for June 22.

Vembanayama has long been considered the best player in the draft class. Other top prospects are expected to compete at the combine, including Scoot Henderson, Amen and Ausar Thompson, Cam Whitmore of Villanova and Brandon Miller of .

This season is the last that players will be allowed to actually leave the alliance. Beginning next summer, the league and players' union agreed last month, all invited players have to attend and participate in the NBA Draft Combine in order to be eligible for the draft.

The NBA Draft Lottery is also set for May 16 in Chicago. The Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs all have a 14% chance of being selected No. 1 overall, the largest of any team in the lottery. Whichever team actually lucks out in the lottery is sure to be the first to take on Vembanayama in June.

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