Today’s the NCAA’s deadline for college basketball players to remove their name from the NBA draft.
Not that it matters.
As Rob Dauster noted last week, this deadline doesn’t mean players have to decide if they’re going pro by the end of the day. They actually have until April 29 – the NBA’s deadline to declare – which is why obvious lottery picks such as Anthony Davis, Andrew Drummond and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist haven’t declared yet. They can spend the next few weeks gathering info and figuring out if they want to go pro. (They will.)
It’s just tougher to “test the waters” as the kids used to do back in the good old days of 2008 or 2009.
So why the change? How about a quick explanation from Stephen Schramm of the Fayetteville Observer?
The April 29 deadline was moved up this year from May 8 after the NBA bowed to pressure from voices within the college game. And even that date was the result of an earlier capitulation by the league. Prior to 2010, players who hadn’t signed with an agent could withdraw their name as late as 10 days before the draft in June.
That led to situations like the one North Carolina found itself in after the 2008 season. That year, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green all put their names in the draft in late April, kicking off weeks of workouts with NBA clubs. On June 16, the trio announced it would return.
For teammates, coaches and fans back in Chapel Hill, the wait was agonizing. But for the players and the teams looking at them, the period was incredibly beneficial. The teams got a chance to bring them into their facilities and evaluate them up close. The players got an honest appraisal of their games as well as a good feel where, or if, their names would be called. While it frustrated college coaches, the whole process cut down on risk for NBA teams and the players involved.
So, that’s less time for players to gather information and a window to enter, then withdrawal that few players could reasonably fit into.
You’re either in or you’re out. Simple as that. And that’s fine. I doubt many players will approach the decision much differently than they would before. They just have less time to do so. Awesome.
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