A joint proposal from the NBA, NCAA and the National Association of Basketball Coaches would restore the ability for underclassmen to “test the waters” and retain their college eligibility after declaring for early entry to the NBA draft, reports Andy Katz of ESPN.com. The deadline for underclassmen who enter the draft to withdraw and maintain their NCAA eligibility, which was April 15th last year, would move to late May as part of the measure, according to Katz. The NBA would alter the schedule and format for its annual June combine so early entry candidates could take part before the deadline, as Katz explains.
A change that took place for 2011 made it difficult, if not impossible, for underclassmen to accurately evaluate where they were likely to be drafted, or if they were in line to be drafted at all. The proposal would give players more time to assess their stock and a chance to take part in the combine. A lack of an invitation to the combine, which would encompass fewer than 100 players, would provide a signal to a player that he’s not likely to find work in the NBA, as Kentucky coach John Calipari suggests to Katz.
Dan Gavitt, the NCAA men’s basketball championship vice president, said to Katz that there’s a strong chance the proposal will come to a formal vote in January if its formally entered to an NCAA subcommittee in September. UCLA athletics director Dan Guerrero, who heads the NCAA Division I council, said it could take effect in time for the 2016 draft.
The measure wouldn’t change the timing of the draft process for international players and others without NCAA ties, who can withdraw anytime up to 10 days before the draft.