John Calipari took full advantage of the so-called one-and-done rule, setting an example others (Duke?) subsequently followed.
So the Kentucky coach will welcome a full exploration of the NCAA’s new relaxed rules about players entering their names in the NBA Draft.
“Every player who is eligible for the (2016) draft, including our walk-ons, will submit their names for the NBA Draft . . . in hopes of being invited to the Combine,” Calipari tweeted Wednesday.
Freshmen Isaac Humphries and Tai Wynyard are not eligible to enter the 2016 NBA Draft because they turned 18 this calendar year.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
New NCAA rules allow players to enter their names in as many as three NBA Drafts. Players can work out for one NBA team per year and, if invited, participate in the NBA Combine.
The deadline for withdrawing from the draft process and retaining eligibility is 10 days after the NBA Combine, which this year is in Chicago May 11-15.
“Just so you know, having every kid put their name in the draft is about all players getting the right information,” Calipari tweeted. “Players not invited to the Combine know what that means. Players invited to the Combine and told to go back to school know what that means. . . .
“It’s a win-win for the student-athletes. I like the rule.”
Just so you know, having every kid put their name in the draft is about all players getting the right information. Players not invited to the Combine know what that means. Players invited to the Combine and told to go back to school know what that means. . . .
The NBA Draft is June 23.
Among UK players, only Jamal Murray, Skal Labissiere and Tyler Ulis are included in most 2016 mock drafts. DraftExpress.com and NBAdraft.net project Murray and Labissiere as lottery picks. DraftExpress.com projects Ulis as the 19th pick of the first round, while NBAdraft.net has Ulis as the sixth player taken in the second round.
Chad Ford, ESPN’s NBA Draft analyst, has Murray as the fourth player drafted, Labissiere 15th and Ulis 20th.
Ryan Blake, senior director of NBA scouting operations, said that a late first-round projection should be interpreted as anywhere from second round to undrafted.
Only first-round picks receive guaranteed contracts.
In January, analyst Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com predicted “madness” and “chaos” as a result of the new rule.
“I think a lot of walk-ons are going to declare for the draft,” he said. “I really do.”
As Calipari suggested, Givony said there was no downside for a player entering his name.
“If you can get one workout from one team, you get to see what the process is like,” he said. “You get a little bit of feedback from an NBA coaching staff. Why not? You know?”
Blake downplayed the possibility of a glut of college players complicating the draft process. He said that it has not been unusual in the past for NBA teams to react to a player entering the draft by saying, “Really?”
Like Calipari, Blake saw the NBA Combine as a means to separate prospects from dreamers.
“If you’re not invited to the Combine,” Blake said in a dry tone of voice. “that would probably be a good indication you might want to go back to school.”
About 65 players are invited to the Combine each year, Blake said.
NBA teams are not obligated to invite any player to a workout.
“I think some of these teams, for the most part, are going to kind of tune out until May 25 and say, ‘Hey, it’s not our job to give you guys feedback and give you guys workouts. We’re not wasting our time,’ ” Givony said. “Especially teams that are in the playoffs.”
Jerry Tipton: 859-231-3227, @JerryTipton
Herald-Leader staff writer Ben Roberts contributed to this article.