As the NBA scrambles to cement a path back to its 2019-20 campaign, the upcoming draft has taken a back seat. Due to the unknowns surrounding the NBA’s pre-draft timeline, the NCAA has decided to indefinitely extend the deadline for college basketball players to withdrawal from the draft and retain their NCAA eligibility.
The previous deadline to withdraw from the draft was June 3, which was set to be 10 days after the NBA combine. The league has postponed the combine, further pushing the NCAA toward their decision as the sports world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
According to NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt, the new deadline will be set once the NBA creates a firm schedule regarding the pre-draft process. Gavitt said the deadline has been postponed “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.”
Most people around the NBA believe the draft, which is set for June 25, will be delayed after both the combine and draft lottery were pushed back.
It appears the draft process is a secondary concern for the NBA as the league remains focused on finding an avenue to the resumption of its current season.
NBA’s Top Draft Prospects
Professional basketball is a sport largely dependent on stars. Every top team, from Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks to LeBron James’ Lakers, can point to at least one elite player.
That desire to add a potential superstar to the roster is why the NBA Draft is often surrounded by such excitement. Let’s take a look at the college players and international prospects encouraging that excitement this year.
Despite his 29.4% shooting from beyond the arc, Georgia’s star guard was a scoring machine this season. In 32 games, Edwards averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 40.2% from the field.
Before the season was cut short, Edwards put up 36 points in a contest against South Carolina.
At FanDuel Sportsbook, the 6-5 guard is the favorite to go No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft with odds of +100.
Wiseman’s extreme athleticism and 7-1 frame make him an intriguing draft prospect. Although we only saw Wiseman play three games for Memphis this season, he averaged a strong 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per contest.
Rumored to be at the top of Golden State’s draft board, Wiseman could easily be taken first overall if the Warriors, who own the league’s worst record at 15-50, land the biggest prize when the draft lottery is able to proceed.
For now, Wiseman owns the second-best odds of going No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft with odds of +180.
The next Ball brother is set to join the ranks of the NBA. Despite being a native of California, Ball enters this year’s draft as an international player after spending this past season in Australia.
The 6-6 point guard aims to make an impact on the league with strong playmaking ability. Last season with Illawarra, Ball averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game.
At +300, Ball currently sits third on the list of prospects to be taken with the first overall selection.
After submitting his paperwork to enter the NBA Draft just a month ago, the Israeli international is already one of this year’s top NBA prospects. For Maccabi Tel Aviv, Avdija has averaged seven points, four rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game.
At 6-9, Avdija is a versatile player with the ability to run the point or play inside. Over the summer, Avdija averaged 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 2.1 steals per game at the FIBA U20 European Championships, where he was named MVP.
With odds of +550, Avdija is the fourth-ranked player on the list of prospects to be taken No. 1 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft.