Memo: NBA sets Aug. 17 early-entry deadline

Potential early-entry candidates for the 2020 NBA draft will have until Aug. 17 to declare that they are entering the draft, according to a memo obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday.

The new deadline is pending the NBA finalizing an agreement with the players’ union on system rule changes in the collective bargaining agreement related to the resumption of the 2019-20 season.

The NBA’s early-entry deadline had been April 26, in anticipation of a June 25 draft, but according to the CBA, players have the ability to make themselves draft eligible by petitioning the league in writing “at least sixty (60) days prior.” Pending approval from the National Basketball Players Association, that would shift the early-entry deadline to Aug. 17 given the draft has been postponed to Oct. 16.

It is unclear if players who previously declined to enter their names in the draft will take advantage of the new deadline due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Severe disruptions caused by potential postponements to the college football and basketball seasons may cause players to rethink decisions they made in April, when the sports landscape looked significantly different.

Any player who already submitted paperwork before the draft’s original deadline of April 26 does not need to reapply, a source told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. If a player applied and withdrew his name from the draft, he can reapply if he changes his mind before the Aug. 17 deadline.

The NBA set its deadline to withdraw from the draft as Oct. 6 — 10 days before the Oct. 16 draft. That deadline is largely for international players or collegiate players who have elected to forfeit their remaining NCAA eligibility.

The NCAA has unilaterally set its own deadline for collegiate players to withdraw from the draft as Aug. 3.

The traditional deadline for withdrawing from the draft and maintaining college eligibility is 10 days after the draft combine. Saturday’s memo does not address the combine date, nor does it clarify what the pre-draft process might look like in terms of teams’ ability to conduct private workouts for prospects or attend agency-sponsored pro days.

The NBA memo says free-agency negotiations can begin at 6 p.m. ET Oct. 18, with a moratorium on deals being signed until noon ET Oct. 23.

The memo also addressed transactions that can made starting Tuesday for players who will join teams for the NBA restart in Orlando, Florida, next month and clarified the procedure should teams need to replace a player who was either excused from participating in the restart for personal reasons, protected for health reasons or chose to not play.

Starting July 1 and going through the end of the seeding games, expected to be Aug. 14, substitute players can be signed to take the place of someone who falls into those categories. If a player tests positive for the coronavirus after the seeding games end, teams would still be allowed to replace them — but only with someone who has three years or less of NBA service.

If a player — excluding two-way players — refuses to participate in games at the Walt Disney World Resort, he would lose about 1.1% of his salary for every game missed. That would be capped after 14 games, or roughly 15.1% of the player’s contract. Players who are excused or protected from participating would not be subject to lost salary.

Teams will also be able to sign players to rest-of-season contracts, when eligible, starting Tuesday and continuing through June 30.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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