There was some surprise around the NBA that so many college early entrants decided to withdraw from the 2020 draft before Monday’s deadline, according to Jeremy Woo of SI.com. As Woo observes, the 2021 draft class is widely viewed as stronger than 2020’s, and the ’20/21 college season remains somewhat in flux, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Still, Woo acknowledges that the stability of returning to a college program was likely appealing for many of those prospects who withdrew, especially since we also don’t yet know what the NBA and G League schedules will look like for ’20/21.
Elsewhere on the draft front, Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Insider link) has updated his 2021 mock draft to account for recent early entrant decisions. Prospects such as Corey Kispert (Gonzaga), Isaiah Joe (Arkansas), Trendon Watford (LSU), and Luka Garza (Iowa), who recently pulled out of the 2020 draft pool, now show up in the second round of Givony’s mock for next year.
Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Former No. 5 overall pick Thomas Robinson has parted ways with Khimki Moscow, his team in Russia, as Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando relays. Robinson appeared in 313 games for six NBA teams after being drafted in 2012, but hasn’t been on an NBA roster since being cut by Atlanta before the 2018/19 season.
- The NBA announced today that its Board of Governors – in partnership with the NBPA – will contribute $300MM over the next 10 years to a new, league-wide charitable foundation called the NBA Foundation, which is “dedicated to creating greater economic empowerment in the Black community.”
- Jason Lloyd of The Athletic takes an interesting look at what the “bubble” sports leagues are getting right and what lessons can be learned from the experiments, which have been a success so far.