Aleksander Balcerowski

Deadline Day For Early Entrant Draft Decisions

Today is Monday, July 19, which means it’s deadline day for the early entrants who declared for the 2021 NBA draft. Those players have until 5:00 pm ET today to decide whether they’ll remain in this year’s draft pool or remove their names and become draft-eligible in a future year.

The NCAA always sets its own early entrant withdrawal deadline that comes before the NBA’s deadline, and that one occurred earlier this month, on July 7. Most college players who are going to pull out of the draft did so by that deadline

A college player could theoretically wait until today to withdraw from the draft. However, in that scenario he’d lose his NCAA eligibility and would likely end up playing professionally in an international league for the next year before becoming draft-eligible.

Most of the players who will withdraw between July 7 and today’s deadline are international prospects who don’t have to worry about the NCAA’s rules. According to recent reports, these are some of the players who have removed their names from the draft pool after initially declaring as early entrants:

Once today’s deadline passes, the NBA will put out an official list of the early entrants who are eligible to be drafted in 2021. That list typically shows up within about 24 hours of the withdrawal deadline, though it’s possible it could take a little longer this year since the list of eligible players will be longer (since NCAA seniors are also on it). In the meantime, our extremely unofficial early entrant list can be found right here.

One international early entrant who won’t be withdrawing, according to Givony (Twitter link), is Juhann Begarin, who will turn 19 next month. The French shooting guard is coming off a strong season playing for Paris Basketball, and agent Bouna Ndiaye tells Givony that his client will keep his name in the draft.

Draft Notes: Withdrawal Date, Bagley, Tampa Combine, More

The NCAA’s withdrawal deadline for early entrants who test the draft waters will be July 7, reports Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, citing an NCAA official (Twitter link).

The NBA’s early entry deadline will be on May 30, so that gives college underclassmen who declare for the draft while maintaining their NCAA eligibility over a month to make their final decisions. It will also allow some of them to take part in the draft combine, which is scheduled for June 21-27.

Technically, the NBA’s own early entrant withdrawal deadline falls on July 19, so prospects could take a little extra time to decide whether to remain in the draft or pull out. But if they finalize that decision after the NCAA’s deadline, they’ll lose their remaining college eligibility.

Here’s more on the 2021 NBA draft:

  • Although Arizona State’s Marcus Bagley entered the transfer portal, he tells Rothstein (Twitter link) that his focus is on the 2021 draft. Bagley, who ranks 27th on ESPN’s big board, announced a month ago that he was testing the draft waters.
  • The Tampa Bay Pro Combine has joined the pre-draft circuit, according to Alex Kennedy of BasketballNews.com, who shares the details on the scouting event whose prospects will be selected by a committee that includes draft analysts Matt Babcock and Fran Fraschilla. The inaugural TBPC will take place from June 3-5 in Florida.
  • Kyree Walker, a former four-star recruit who signed with training program Chameleon BX rather than attending college, has declared for the 2021 NBA draft, he announced on Twitter. Meanwhile, a pair of international prospects, Polish center Aleksander Balcerowski and Croatian big man Danko Brankovic, have also declared for the draft, per agent Misko Raznatovic (Twitter links).
  • Sam Vecenie of The Athletic has updated his 2021 mock draft, with Jalen Suggs (No. 2), Scottie Barnes (No. 6), and Davion Mitchell (No. 9) among the more noteworthy lottery picks.

Draft Notes: Bassey, Ward, Winston, Olinde

Western Kentucky freshman center Charles Bassey will declare for the draft without signing with an agent, the school’s media relations department tweets. The 6’11” Bassey averaged 14.6 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 2.4 BPG in 34 games for the Hilltoppers. He is currently ranked No. 53 on ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony’s Top 100 list.

We have more draft decisions:

  • Michigan State center Nick Ward has declared for the draft and hired an agent, he announced on his Instagram account. Ward averaged 12.9 PPG and 6.1 RPG as a junior, though he missed some late-season games due to a broken hand.
  • Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston will return for his senior season, according to a school press release. Winston was a consensus second-team All-American this past season, averaging a team-best 18.8 PPG and setting a Big Ten single-season record with 291 assists. He’s ranked No. 78 by Givony.
  • Louis Olinde, a 6’10” German forward, has declared for the draft, Givony tweets. The 21-year-old Olinde starts for Bamberg in Germany, where he’s shooting 38% from long range in the Basketball Bundesliga.
  • Aleksander Balcerowski, a 7’1” center from Poland, has also declared for the draft, according to another Givony tweet. The 18-year old has seen minutes with Gran Canaria in the EuroLeague and ACB Liga in Spain this season and would be one of the youngest players in the draft if he stays in.