The NBA, NCAA and National Association of Basketball Coaches have teamed up on a proposal that would push back the deadline for early entry candidates to remove their name from the NBA Draft, according to reports from USA Today and ESPN.com.
The date, which is currently in early April, before the spring signing period and just over a week after the national title game, would get pushed back five weeks, to late May. The proposal would request roughly 75 prospects get invited to the NBA Combine, which would be held in mid-May and would give feedback to the players before the withdrawal deadline.
Essentially, the goal would be to signal to any underclassmen considering making the jump to the NBA that if you weren’t invited to the combine, you’re not going to get drafted. It would also give those players a chance to showcase themselves in front of NBA front office types and get direct feedback on their draft standing.
In other words, it’s an effort to give these kids as much information as possible to make what amounts to the most important decision of their lives.
This is a very, very good thing. The way the system is currently set up is atrocious for the players. They have to make an uninformed decision months before the draft and prior to NBA teams really starting to focus on what they are looking for in the draft. The rule was changed three years ago, as college coaches complained about how leaving the status of potential pros up in the air hurt their team. With a finite number of scholarships available, the coaches didn’t want to have to go into the summer not knowing whether they were going to get a player back or not.
Before the rule was changed, the NCAA used the NBA’s withdrawal deadline, with is ten days before the actual draft.