With NBA Draft decisions looming, now’s a good time to go over the rules and deadlines for early entrants. Let’s start with the rules, which changed a few years ago.
Players are allowed to test the waters twice without jeopardizing their eligibility. Let’s use PJ Washington as an example since he declared for the draft yesterday. Should PJ come back as we expect him to, he can declare again after his sophomore year and, provided he doesn’t sign with an agent, return for his junior year; however, in that scenario, should he declare after his junior year, he can’t come back for his senior year.
There is a rare loophole that would allow a player who has exhausted their eligibility to return should they go undrafted, but I doubt that would ever come up, so don’t worry about it.
April 22, 11:59 p.m.: Early Entry Eligibility Deadline
By April 22, we will know everyone who is declaring for the draft. By then, we’ll probably know of a few players who intend to sign with agents, meaning autograph tour and interview season will be in full swing.
May 15: NBA Draft Lottery, Chicago
The full draft order will officially be set on May 15, giving the top players a clearer picture on where they may go.
May 16-20: NBA Draft Combine, Chicago
Hamidou Diallo turned in the second highest max vertical in Draft Combine history last year. Should he declare, this is where he’ll make up for this season’s struggles. The NBA drools over athletes like Hami, so a good Combine will be key for his stock.
Similarly, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and PJ Washington’s measurements will impress (Shai’s wingspan is 7′; PJ’s is 7’3 and his vertical 43″). Kevin Knox’s measurements aren’t quite as eye-popping, but an impressive performance could boost him into the top ten.
May 30: NCAA’s withdrawal deadline
This is the big one. Ten days after the combine, players who wish to retain their eligibility must withdraw their names from the draft.
June 11, 5 p.m.: NBA Draft Early Entry Entrant Withdrawal Deadline
June 21: NBA Draft, New York City
Or, as John Calipari puts it, Graduation Day.