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On Wednesday, NCAA.com announced important amendments to the NBA Draft process — the biggest of which being college players’ ability to declare for the NBA Draft AND participate in the NBA Draft combine AND NBA offseason workouts without losing their ability to return to college (as long as they withdraw from the draft within 10 days after the combine’s conclusion.

In an effort to both provide students the chance to make more fully informed decisions and prepare themselves for a potential professional basketball career, the Division I Council on Wednesday adopted a proposal that, among other provisions, changes the date by which a student must remove his name from the NBA draft.

The change is effective immediately, and students can take advantage of the new process for the 2016 NBA draft.

“The rule is a good idea because it provides men’s basketball student-athletes the opportunity to test their dream of going beyond the stage of amateurism into the professional level without completely sacrificing their collegiate career, should they find they are not as prepared as they had hoped for the next level,” said Cody McDavis, a member of the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee.

While this won’t affect the Ben Simmons and Buddy Hields of the world, this is gargantuan news for any college player who is on the fence re: declaring for the upcoming and/or any future NBA Draft(s). If it is a player’s prerogative to ensure they are a first-round pick so that they get the two-year guaranteed contract that all first rounders obtain, they now have the ability to get crucial feedback re: their status before making a decision to leave college or not. In the past, there were no mulligans — the moment you declared … there was no going back.

My question here is: what the hell took so long? This is a win-win for all parties involved…

  • College kids trying to go pro aren’t contracted into a decision that they may later regret
  • College basketball programs will be able to retain talent that they may not have in the past
  • The college basketball product will likely see less ‘one-and-dones’, which has undoubtedly responsible for siphoning talent out of NCAAB
  • Players who declare for the draft who aren’t ready for the pro level can stay in the United States and don’t have to go international to get back in to the league — something i’m sure a majority of “on the verge of making it” NBA prospects fear.

It’s a start, I guess!