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NCAA Extends NBA Draft Deadline

Time is an illusion during the pandemic

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Baylor Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

With COVID-19 inevitably pushing the NBA Draft back, the NCAA announced that college players will not be held to the June 3rd deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft. Instead, the NCAA announced the deadline is postponed indefinitely.

Here is the NCAA’s statement:

“The NCAA’s deadline for men’s basketball student-athletes to withdraw from the NBA draft and retain their eligibility will be pushed back from the current June 3 date. This modification is being made with the health and well-being of our student-athletes in mind, along with their ability to make the most informed decisions during this uncertain time, and is based on the recent announcement by the NBA to postpone the 2020 NBA Draft Combine. Out of respect to the NBA’s process, the decision on a new withdrawal date will be made once the league has determined a timeline for the 2020 pre-draft process. Working in collaboration with National Association of Basketball Coaches Executive Director Jim Haney and the rest of the coaches’ leadership, the NCAA membership will ensure that any change supports a player’s decision-making process related to professional opportunities while also protecting their academic pursuits and the opportunity to play college basketball.”

Jared Butler and MaCio Teague put their names in the NBA Draft. Butler hired an NCAA approved agent, which gives him the option to return to school. To the best of my knowledge, Teague has not signed with an agent.

Butler appears as a second round draft pick on most sites. It’s very likely he would be drafted, and that gives him a chance to play in the NBA or G-League. But if he returns to Baylor, he’s likely to be a preseason All-American and will be the Big 12’s preseason player of the year. The Bears will also be ranked in the top five and will assuredly receive No. 1 votes.

Teague does not appear on most NBA Draft boards, but he is four years removed from high school. He might decide that he wants to make money professionally. But he would also bypass the chance to play on what will be a very good team regardless of Butler’s decision.

This is the right move by the NCAA. We don’t know exactly when the NBA will return to normal or allow workouts or team competitions, but players will have more information about their NBA status and the NBA Draft after June 3rd.