The National Association of Basketball Coaches, the NBA and the NCAA have come up with a proposal that would affect early-entry college players into the NBA. The upshot is that the withdrawal date for underclassmen would be moved from late April to late May.
At present once an underclassman files his papers for the draft, he can't change his mind and return to school. The commitment date would remain in April, and underclassmen would be permitted to attend a mid-May invitation-only combine for about 80 or 90 draft-eligible players run by the NBA. At present underclassmen are not permitted to attend.
The hope is that college players would find out whether they're a first-round prospect – or a draft prospect at all – after being evaluated by the NBA. And those who weren't invited to the combine would get the message in no uncertain terms that they should forget about the NBA for now and stay in school.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski reportedly has been involved in shaping the proposal, according to ESPN. Roy Williams of North Carolina said Wednesday he also has been part of the talks.
“I'm trying to remember what I was told to say,” Williams quipped Wednesday. “I think there will be more information released out of it. I've been very pleased to be part of the discussion about it. I've been part of the discussion and very happy that we we're working together.”
Not all ACC coaches are on board, however. Florida State's Leonard Hamilton said Wednesday he would be opposed to it unless the scholarship limited was raised because late May is too late in the year to replace a player he might lose to the draft.
“If I have a kid in April who wants to be evaluated, and he decides not to come back, then how do I fill the void?” Hamilton asked. “There has to be some way to come up with a procedure that will allow the youngsters to pursue their goals and not impact the team. It has to be some way to that as opposed to creating a negative for one and maybe an opportunity for the other.”
Boston College coach Jim Christian, who has said he would advise star guard Olivier-cq Hanlan to leave this year if he projected as a first-round pick, agreed with the NABC proposal.
“Anything that can help young people make the right decision is what it's all about,” Christian said. “It eliminates the unknowns. The late (withdrawal) date for us is a little bit difficult, but it is all about the people, whether it's Olivier or anybody else.
Christian said the proposal provides “a factual basis so they can make sound decisions. Everything should be on the table so they can make sound decisions.”
The proposal could be presented for a vote by the NCAA as early as January and could be adopted in time for the 2016 draft, so it would not apply to Hanlan, who is a junior.
For his part, Hanlan shied away from NBA projections.
“I don't really want to talk about that right now,” he said after the Eagles' season-ending 81-63 loss to North Carolina in Wednesday's second round of the ACC tournament. “There's a lot of time to make that decision. I'll just take it day by day.”