Proposal in talks to change withdrawal procedures for NBA prospects

Adam Silver

Proposal in talks to change withdrawal procedures for NBA prospects

A proposal is being enacted by the NCAA, NBA, and National Association of Basketball Coaches to prevent underclassmen prospects from declaring for the NBA Draft early if they aren’t guaranteed as a high draft pick.

The proposal started with a series of meetings at the 2014 Final Four. It would move the withdrawal date about five weeks ahead from April to May.

From ESPN’s Andy Katz:

If the proposal is accepted, underclassmen would be able to participate in a new invitation-only combine in mid-May that would enable NBA teams to evaluate players and then offer feedback on their draft prospects. The pool would include all draft-eligible players: seniors, underclassmen and international players. But Dan Gavitt, NCAA vice president of the men’s basketball championship, said the finite number wouldn’t change if a player withdrew. The goal would be to increase the current NBA draft combine number by 20 to 30 percent (currently 65 to 70 players attend the draft camp in Chicago annually).

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports an age limit for going pro of two years out of high school instead of one year out of high school and a player being age 19. National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts does not support the two-years rule. The CBA is not open to being renegotiated until 2017. Allowing underclassmen to participate in NBA-sponsored workouts — something that was once permitted — would be one avenue to stem the flood of marginal first-round picks from remaining in the draft. 

From Kentucky head coach John Calipari, via Katz:

“Now, when you put your name in, if you’re not invited that should tell you to go back to school,” Calipari said. “Now after the combine you can make a decision — go back to school or choose to go.”

“The way it is now, so many of them are not getting the information they need,” Calipari said. “If we stay on this path, watch where the college game will go. It’s the best decision for the kids.”

Calipari, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski were among the high-profile head coaches supporting the proposal.

I really love the concept of this proposal for the player’s sake, especially underclassmen. Under the current ruling, if an underclassmen submits their papers for the NBA Draft, they automatically forfeit their eligibility.

Instead of going all in and relying on hearsay to determine your draft stock, this proposal gives you the chance to have a formal evaluation done so you’re told upfront about where you stand at the combine. If you don’t like what you hear, you still have the chance to go back to school. If you submit draft paperwork and don’t get invited to the combine, your best bet is to just go back to school.

This is the ongoing battle of ensuring that players are truly prepared to play in the NBA when they think they are. In that sense, people involved feel that this proposal is a way to ultimately improve the game.

The proposal could be voted on by the NCAA in January and take effect for the 2016 NBA Draft.


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Martin is the Founder, Chief Editor, and Head Skills Development Trainer for Basketball Society. He has work experience in digital media and marketing, radio, and journalism. Currently, he does freelance work as a videographer and content creator. He has been featured as a writer on sites such as Def Pen, TV Film News, All Hip-Hop, and more. Martin played high school basketball at South Brunswick High School (NJ) where he graduated in 2007. He is a 1,000-point scorer at SBHS and an All-Middlesex County performer as a 3-year varsity starter. He helped lead SBHS to their first-ever Central Jersey Group 4 sectional state championship in 2007. Martin played college basketball at Eastern University, where he graduated (BA, Communications) in 2012. Martin was a four-year starter and a 1,000-point scorer at EU. Follow Martin on Twitter @Marsoaries and on Instagram @martin_soaries


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