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Unanswered Questions - #9 NBA Draft Combine

What Happens to the Players Looking to Enter the NBA Draft?

NCAA Basketball: Mountain West Conference Tournament- Air Force vs San Diego State Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Spring sports were abruptly cancelled across the country to try and stop the spread of COVID-19 as we stopped large gatherings and started practicing social distancing. Just focusing on the impact to collegiate sports, we are left with some unanswered questions because of the sudden sports halt.

As such, this article series looks to discuss some of these unanswered questions and get your take (via a poll at the bottom of the article) on the sports questions that will have to go unanswered on some level since so many sporting events were cancelled.

Question #9 - What Happens to the Players Looking to Enter the NBA Draft?

On May 1st, the NBA indefinitely suspended the NBA Draft Lottery and the NBA Draft Combine. In light of our current environment, it makes sense. The NBA is still hoping to restart their season. If the NBA does restart their season, games will be played that impact the final standings. Those final standings will determine draft odds for the NBA Draft Lottery. As such, too many dominoes still need to fall to go ahead with the draft process now.

Also, the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago was scheduled for May 21st through the 24th. Holding that now was just not practical when Chicago is looking at possibly reopening in June.

So where does that leave the players who were looking to try and make the jump to the NBA?

The Mountain West Conference has five players that were looking to test the NBA waters this year as an early entrant (with collegiate eligibility remaining). Those players are:

  • Jalen Harris, Nevada
  • Malachi Flynn, San Diego State
  • Matt Mitchell, San Diego State
  • Derrick Alston, Boise State
  • Niven Hart, Fresno State

These players have a couple of current issues. First, June 3rd is the deadline to withdraw from the NBA draft for college underclassmen who want to retain their eligibility. My guess is that this will be changed (if it hasn’t already by the time of your reading this). The second issue is that players that participate in the draft combine can still remain in the draft and return to school without losing their eligibility in the event that they go undrafted. Last year, the draft combine invited 66 players. So for those 66 players, their is no harm in declaring. All of the other underclassmen need to decide whether or not to withdraw from the draft by the June 3rd deadline.

As such, the 5 early entrants from the MWC are currently in limbo. However, the 2020 NBA Draft date has not changed (as of yet) from June 25, 2020.

Reportedly, the NBA is discussing pushing back the start of the 2020-2021 season to December. If so, that shifting timeline could allow for the NBA to still try to get in some more games this summer to finish the season. That would also shift the timeline of the draft all the further also. Maybe, we could be looking at a draft combine in July or August. Then you might have a draft no later than late August. However, that timeline gets pretty tight for undrafted players to be able to return to school in time for the 2020/21 academic year.

So how should things proceed forward?


What Would You Do About the Early Entrants in the NBA Draft?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Have Them Wait & Reschedule the Draft Lottery, Draft Combine & the NBA Draft - So Long as It Gets Squeezed in by the Start of the School Year
    (3 votes)
  • 23%
    Stick to the Current Date of June 3rd for All Early Entrants
    (3 votes)
  • 53%
    Cancel the Draft Combine & Have The NBA Do The Draft At Some Point Over the Summer - All Early Entrants That Go Undrafted Retain Their Eligibility
    (7 votes)
13 votes total Vote Now

Also, please leave your thoughts in the comments below about what you think will/should happen with the upcoming NBA Draft and the related draft items such as the combine and early entrant withdrawal rules.