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The mess that is the NBA/NCAA early withdrawl date

An underclassman jumping to the NBA draft has never been more problematic.

Once the NCAA tournament ends, we’ll enter college basketball silly season, where players have hardly any time to accurately weigh their NBA options. There are three deadlines to know:

  • April 24 – NBA’s early entry eligibility deadline. Last chance to enter your name.
  • May 8 – NCAA’s draft withdrawal deadline. If players miss this deadline, they’re out. (Unless you plead ignorance.)
  • June 13 – NBA’s early entrant withdrawal deadline. Yes, this is after the NCAA’s date. Yes, this one’s basically irrelevant.
This, everything focuses on May 8, which means NBA teams are circling April 29 as a crucial date. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress explains:

This unilateral deadline imposed by the NCAA has been widely criticized by members of the basketball industry, as it is clearly a self-serving rule intended to protect the NCAA’s interests by severely restricting players’ ability to explore their professional options.

This deadline has put a significant amount of pressure on NBA teams to evaluate a huge group of players in a short and highly inconvenient period of time, then disperse valuable information about those players that could influence whether or not to keep their name in the draft. This is an exercise most NBA teams were not happy to participate in last year.

With the way the rules are currently set up, players have a window of only 10 days to decide whether or not to withdraw – from the time the early-entry list is officially released to teams (typically four days after the deadline, April 28) to the date the NCAA has legislated underclassmen must declare their intentions in writing to the school’s Director of Athletics, May 8.

There’s more in Givony’s story explaining how NBA teams will approach the deadline and how athletes must prepare and arrive at any workouts.

Yes, it’s a cluster. Awesome system.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.