We’re four days away from the deadline for early entrants to declare for the 2020 NBA draft. Players who aren’t automatically draft-eligible this year have until the end of the day on Sunday, April 26 to submit their names into the 2020 NBA draft pool.
So far, by our unofficial count, more than 150 players have decided to declare for the draft, as our tracker shows. That’s a big number that should only get bigger in the coming days, but this year’s total may fall short of the record number of early entrants established in recent years. In both 2018 and 2019, the NBA’s initial early entry list included more than 230 names.
Barring a last-minute surge of early entrants before Sunday night, it seems safe to assume that the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is probably contributing to keeping this year’s total below the high watermarks set in the last couple years — for borderline prospects, returning to school could be a safer bet than rolling the dice on a professional path.
Of course, the coronavirus situation has thrown the entire pre-draft process into disarray, creating uncertainty about whether Sunday’s deadline will even remain in place. So far, the NBA has offered little insight on how the 2020 draft date (June 25) and other deadlines leading up to that night may be changed as a result of the pandemic.
If the NBA is able to resume its 2019/20 season this summer, it seems extremely unlikely that the league would conduct its draft on June 25. Other dates – such as the NCAA’s June 3 early entrant withdrawal deadline or the NBA’s June 15 withdrawal deadline – could be adjusted accordingly if the NBA postpones the draft.
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Still, with the NBA not offering any updates yet on this Sunday’s deadline, we’re assuming for now that it will remain unchanged, which means players considering going pro will have just a few more days to submit the necessary paperwork — then they’ll have at least five-and-a-half weeks to decide whether or not to remain in the draft.
While most of this year’s projected lottery picks and first-rounders have already declared and signed with an agent, we’re still awaiting updates on a handful of players. Among the top 25 players on ESPN’s big board for 2020, Memphis forward Precious Achiuwa and Texas Tech guard Jahmi’us Ramsey are the only two who have to announce a draft decision.