The NCAA has set a deadline of Tuesday for underclassmen to declare for the NBA draft or stay in school another year. That deadline is toothless because it comes 19 days before the NBAs deadline to accept early-entry candidates into the draft.
Any underclassman who has already declared for the draft including, for instance, Dukes Austin Rivers and North Carolinas Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall and who doesnt remove his name by Tuesday, has forfeited his remaining college eligibility.
However, theres nothing to stop an underclassman from saying hell return to college ball next season, then later say, April 28 submit his name to the NBA. In fact, if a player has any misgivings about what to do, theres seemingly no downside to waiting another week or two and quietly researching pro options.
Confusing? Sure, but the NCAA made its own bed by assuming the NBA would conform to this new, earlier deadline. It really isnt the NBAs problem to adapt to the NCAAs calendar, and we all know what this deadline is really about: High-profile college coaches not wanting to sit in limbo for a month or two about whether some of their best players are turning pro.