With the dates of the NBA’s return to play and the 2020 draft in place, the league recently finalized the early-entry deadline. Originally, the early-entry date had been April 26 with the draft being held on June 25. When the coronavirus pandemic put a halt on the regular season, the NBA was forced to postpone the draft as well.
Now, the 2020 NBA draft will be held on October 16. Current collective bargaining agreement language states that players have the ability to declare for the draft by petitioning the NBA “at least 60 days prior.” That puts the new early-entry deadline at August 17. That new date is awaiting approval from the league.
Players that already declared before the original April 26 deadline do not need to reapply. Any player that did apply and then withdrew from the draft will need to reapply again.
All those that do declare for the draft have the ability to withdraw. The NBA set that deadline at Oct. 6, which is 10 days before the draft. The withdrawal deadline is primarily for international players or college players that forfeit their remaining eligibility when they enter the draft.
Traditionally, the deadline to withdraw from the draft is 10 days after the NBA combine. The league has not determined any dates for this year’s combine nor has it addressed any of the pre-draft process. College players that withdraw from the draft by the deadline maintain their college eligibility.
The NBA also released a memo that addressed this year’s free agency period. The league has said free agency negotiations can begin on October 18. The memo also addressed player transactions for the remainder of this season.
From July 1 until the end of the seeding games – approximately August 14 – substitute players may be signed to replace a player that tests positive for the coronavirus. After this period, teams can still replace a player who tests positive, but only with a player with NBA service of three years of less.