The NCAA seems to be making decisions rooted in common sense more often these days, including Wednesday when the organization announced improvements to its policies on men's basketball players declaring for the NBA draft.
Each year a handful of college basketball players are locks to become NBA lottery picks and don't have much stress involved in deciding whether to leave school early to turn pro or stay another year. For example, LSU freshman Ben Simmons is expected to be the first overall pick in this year's draft assuming he turns pro. However, the majority of players for whom such a choice is even an issue wrestle with the decision.
The NCAA announced Wednesday it is giving players more time to make an informed decision.
In previous years, players who declared for the draft had to decide whether to keep their name in or withdraw and return to school well ahead of the draft. Last year is was nearly 21/2 months before the draft. The change instituted Wednesday allows players to participate in the NBA combine and have 10 days after the combine ends to withdraw from the draft. In most years that will be roughly one month before the draft.
Being able to participate in the combine and receive feedback on the performance could help prevent some young men from throwing away another year of education and development because to take a big risk on being picked. Sure, that will still happen with some, but providing more time for players to make informed decisions based on what NBA scouts and general managers see at the combine should help cut down the number of players who make bad decisions to come out early and are never drafted.
The NBA combine, an invitation-only event, will take place in Chicago this year May 11-15, which means players must make their decision about the draft no later than May 25. The draft will take place June 23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The NCAA also decided Wednesday to allow players to participate in the NBA combine multiple times as well as one tryout with an NBA team per year without risking their college eligibility. In the past, players forfeited any remaining eligibility after declaring for the draft a second time, regardless of whether they ultimately decided returning to school was the best option.
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