2020 NBA Draft

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NBA draft process remains uncertain for college stars

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Uncertainty in the NBA draft process means a chaotic next few months for college basketball’s stars.

The COVID-19 outbreak stalled the NBA season. The future of the regular season hasn’t been determined. The postseason with it. The 2020 NBA Draft still remains a complete mystery.

Through it all, college basketball’s best players have deadlines for pro decisions coming up. Changing times have made for a more difficult NBA draft process than normal. It also might have ramifications for future college eligibility for certain players.

Before the 2019 NBA Draft process, the NCAA revised its former policy. Student-athletes could sign agents and retain college eligibility last summer. That process helped players like Kansas’ Devon Dotson and Louisville’s Jordan Nwora test the 2019 NBA Draft waters before returning to school this season.

The sport’s top agents largely ignored the new NCAA certification process for 2020. Only 23 agents have even been certified so far. As noted by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, that list of NCAA-approved agents don’t come from bigger firms. So college players have been given a small group of agents to help them navigate the process. At least if they wish to keep college open as an option.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony also noted that many agents are more focused on their current NBA players and the surrounding chaos in the NBA than they are 2020 draft prospects.

Of course, prospects can also risk navigating the NBA draft process alone. An agent, even from a “smaller” firm, has NBA connections. Agents help give feedback to potential clients who test the waters. A player going through the process alone doesn’t get that benefit. With limited NCAA-approved agents, some players could opt to do things themselves the next several months.

Top players who intend to stay in the draft will still sign with the sport’s top agents. That part will stay the same. But during a unique draft process, players being limited to only 23 agents to retain eligibility is not what the NCAA should be looking for. Workouts have practically been eliminated. The draft might be pushed back. And the NCAA isn’t helping its own student-athletes by placing so many restrictions that limit returning eligibility.

2020 NBA Draft Early Entry Tracker

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Here is CBT’s full 2020 NBA Draft early entry tracker. You’ll find a full breakdown of what players are deciding. We’ll track signing with agents, testing the waters and returning to school here. 

Underclassmen have until Sunday, April 26th at 11:59 p.m. EST to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft.

A deadline of Monday, June 15th at 5 p.m. EST is set for underclassmen to withdraw and retain college eligibility.

Of course, these dates are subject to change given the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation.

Here is the full list of the underclassmen who have declared for the 2020 NBA Draft. You can also find a list of the biggest names we’re waiting on.

NBA DRAFT EARLY ENTRY

Preseason Top 25 | Mock Draft | Early Entry Tracker

NBA DRAFT TESTING THE WATERS

  • SADDIQ BEY, Villanova
  • TYLER BEY, Colorado
  • JERMAINE BISHOP, Norfolk State
  • JORDAN BRUNER, Yale
  • MARCUS CARR, Minnesota
  • JALEN CRUTCHER, Dayton
  • RYAN DALY, St. Joseph’s
  • DEVON DANIELS, N.C. State
  • KENDRIC DAVIS, SMU
  • L.J. FIGUEROA, St. John’s
  • D.J. FUNDERBURK, N.C. State
  • ALONZO GAFFNEY, Ohio State
  • JIMMA GATWECH, Huntington Prep (WV)
  • JAYVON GRAVES, Buffalo
  • RAYSHAUN HAMMONDS, Georgia
  • ELIJAH HUGHES, Syracuse
  • FERON HUNT, SMU
  • HERB JONES, Alabama
  • MASON JONES, Arkansas
  • KAMERON LANGLEY, North Carolina A&T
  • SABEN LEE, Vanderbilt
  • KIRA LEWIS, Alabama
  • ISAIAH LIVERS, Michigan
  • CAM MACK, Nebraska
  • SANDRO MAMUKELASHVILI, Seton Hall
  • NAJI MARSHALL, Xavier
  • KENYON MARTIN JR., IMG Academy (FL)
  • REMY MARTIN, Arizona State
  • MAC MCCLUNG, Georgetown
  • ELIJAH OLANIYI, Stony Brook
  • JOHN PETTY JR., Alabama
  • NATE PIERRE-LOUIS, Temple
  • JEREMIAH ROBINSON-EARL, Villanova
  • JAY SCRUBB, Louisville
  • PARKER STEWART, UT Martin
  • MACIO TEAGUE, Baylor
  • XAVIER TILLMAN, Michigan State
  • JORDAN TUCKER, Butler
  • KEITH WILLIAMS, Cincinnati
  • MCKINLEY WRIGHT, Colorado

NOTABLES RETURNING TO SCHOOL

  • DEREK CULVER, West Virginia
  • OSCAR TSHIEBWE, West Virginia

NOTABLES YET TO ANNOUNCE

PRECIOUS ACHIUWA, Memphis
DERRICK ALSTON, Boise State
COLE ANTHONY, North Carolina
BRYAN ANTOINE, Villanova
JOEL AYAYI, Gonzaga
JARED BUTLER, Baylor
VERNON CAREY, Duke
AYO DOSUNMU, Illinois
DEVON DOTSON, Kansas
MALACHI FLYNN, San Diego State
LUKA GARZA, Iowa
JOSH GREEN, Arizona
ASHTON HAGANS, Kentucky
AARON HENRY, Michigan State
MATTHEW HURT, Duke
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS, Indiana
ISAIAH JOE, Arkansas
DAVID JOHNSON, Louisville
A.J. LAWSON, South Carolina
SCOTTIE LEWIS, Florida
TYRESE MAXEY, Kentucky
JADEN MCDANIELS, Washington
WENDELL MOORE, Duke
JORDAN NWORA, Louisville
FILIP PETRUSEV, Gonzaga
YVES PONS, Tennessee
NEEMIAS QUETA, Utah State
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY, Kentucky
JAHMI’US RAMSEY, Texas Tech
NICK RICHARDS, Kentucky
JALEN SMITH, Maryland
CASSIUS STANLEY, Duke
ISAIAH STEWART, Washington
TYRELL TERRY, Stanford
TRENDON WATFORD, LSU
ROMEO WEEMS, DePaul
KALEB WESSON, Ohio State
KAHLIL WHITNEY, Kentucky
ROBERT WOODWARD, Mississippi State

Preseason Top 25 | Coaching Carousel | NBA Draft Early Entry (link)

WHEN IS THE 2020 NBA DRAFT?

The 2020 NBA Draft is currently scheduled to take place on June 25th, 2020, but that date is up in the air due to the spread of COVID-19. At the very least, the league is preparing as if the pre-draft process is going to be drastically different than it has been in past seasons.

WHEN IS THE DEADLINE FOR AN EARLY ENTRY TO DECLARE FOR THE 2020 NBA DRAFT?

Underclassmen have under April 26th to declare for the draft. Those that don’t sign with an agent have until June 15th to pull their name out of the draft and return to school.

WHERE CAN I FIND A 2020 MOCK DRAFT?

Right here, thanks for asking.

USC’s Onyeka Okongwu enters 2020 NBA draft

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Following a standout freshman season, USC big man Onyeka Okongwu is entering the 2020 NBA draft.

The 6-foot-9 Okongwu made his declaration official on Wednesday.

A pleasant surprise with his overall production and consistency this season, Okongwu lived up to his early five-star billing out of high school. Early in his preps career, Okongwu was a known national prospect. As the big man for the Lonzo Ball-led Chino Hills High School team that took the nation by storm, Okongwu drew national recruiting attention as an underclassman.

Some believed Okongwu plateaued and didn’t improve much during his high school career. That led to Okongwu being ranked as only the No. 25 overall prospect in the Class of 2019 national high school rankings.

The rankings and perception didn’t matter once Okongwu reached USC.

Putting up 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game, Okongwu was a force on both ends of the floor this season. Okongwu registered back-to-back double-doubles to open the 2019-20 season. From there, the freshman established himself as one of the best big men in all of college hoops.

Shooting 61 percent from the floor and 72 percent from three-point range, Okongwu was efficient on offense. Okongwu will have to work on expanding his range for the next level. But at only 19 years old, there is plenty of time for that to happen.

Okongwu currently projects at No. 11 in the latest CBT NBA mock draft. Some teams could be intrigued enough to take Onyeka Okongwu in the top ten of the NBA draft based on his upside. It’s a notable climb for a player many had outside of the top 20 in his own high school class entering this season.

Dayton’s Obi Toppin declares for 2020 NBA draft

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Obi Toppin is declaring for the NBA draft.

Taking college basketball by storm all season, the Dayton forward announced his decision to turn pro on Wednesday. Toppin went from modest contributor with all-conference potential to a probable lottery pick during the 2019-20 season. The redshirt sophomore was one of the nation’s biggest stories this season.

The 6-foot-9 Toppin put up 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Also a menace on the defensive end (1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks per game), Toppin was one of the nation’s premier two-way players. Perhaps most importantly, Toppin was the leader of one of the best teams in the country.

Dayton went from preseason afterthought to instant contender with a notable start this season at the Maui Invitational. From there, the Flyers only lost one more time all season. Dayton rolled through Atlantic 10 conference play with Toppin leading the charge. Dayton was expected to be a No. 1 seed in the 2020 NCAA tournament had the event gone on as planned.

It led to Toppin sweeping virtually every major award in college hoops. He was the only unanimous AP All-American. Toppin also won CBT’s Player of the Year and AP Player of the Year as well.

As for the NBA draft, Obi Toppin is a potential top-ten pick. Although Toppin turned 22 earlier this month, he still has plenty of intriguing tools for the next level. Toppin is the kind of bouncy offensive threat who can hunt lobs at the rim and finish with authority. Defensively, Toppin’s ability to switch and guard all five opposing spots was a huge reason the Flyers carried a top-40 defense.

Those are some of the many reasons Toppin sits at No. 4 in the latest CBT NBA mock draft.

Anthony Edwards leaves Georgia for 2020 NBA Draft

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Anthony Edwards is declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft.

The Georgia freshman star made his decision official on Friday. The 6-foot-5 Edwards signed with Octagon and agent Omar Wilkes. Edwards’ draft decision was first reported by Evan Daniels of 247Sports.

Potentially the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Anthony Edwards put together a strong season for the Bulldogs. The freshman averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game for the season. Edwards showed natural scoring ability and long-term upside. The freshman displayed smooth athleticism, shot-making ability and an improving feel for the game.

Edwards drew national attention early in the season. A second-half scoring outburst against Michigan State in the Maui Invitational set the tone for Edwards’ talent and upside. From there, Edwards had 20-point games 13 times during the season. Edwards also had 30-point games against the Spartans, Florida and South Carolina.

But Edwards also showed some flaws he’ll need to improve for the NBA during his year at Georgia. Shooting only 40 percent from the floor and 29 percent from three-point range, Edwards will need to shoot with more consistency at the next level. Playing heavy minutes to end the season, Edwards also struggled down the stretch. His final three college games, Edwards shot only 11-for-55 from the field. It’s possible that Edwards was burned out by the end.

Those are correctable flaws, however. You can’t teach what Edwards brings to the table as a scorer. Edwards has the necessary length and athleticism to turn into a premier perimeter defender. And for a player who reclassified into college a year early, Edwards is still only 18 years old. There’s plenty of time to improve shot selection and stamina the next few years.

When it comes to the 2020 NBA Draft, Anthony Edwards is a very realistic potential No. 1 pick. Even if Edwards doesn’t go No. 1, he shouldn’t fall outside of the top five.