After seeing an overwhelming amount of freak outs about NBA Draft entries, I’d just like to clear the air and hopefully provide some calming insight on Louisville’s current situation.
Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Jaylen Johnson and what could likely be others, have decided to enter the NBA Draft. While reading that sentence may cause a panic, I can assure you that is very premature. With the NBA’s new rule, implemented only last year, undergraduates are allowed to “enter the draft” and still come back. “How can this be?”, you might ask. As long as the player doesn’t sign an agent, and pulls his name out before May 24th, he will not lose eligibility.
Entrants will work out among other draft hopefuls and if they receive feedback that they have potentially climbed the draft boards, they can elect to officially forfeit their remaining eligibility and stay in the draft. If not, they receive feedback on elements of their game that need work and can return to school in hopes of improving their draft stock for the next year.
Chinanu Onuaku went this route last year. The sophomore center ended up improving his stock enough to stay in, get drafted, and begin his NBA career. Rick Pitino advocated for both Donovan and Deng to test the waters and go from there. This is not by any means a statement that officially means neither will return, if anything it will allow both players to see how they stack up and receive very beneficial constructive criticism on how to improve going forward.
It’s easy to read a headline and assume the worst, but I implore you to relax and let this process take its course. They both love school, and they both have major facets of their respective games that need improving. They could wow the scouts and climb the draft boards or they’ll realize what Rick has told them and work on the things they need to perfect before making the leap to the next level.
If you haven’t already, watch the Lady Cards ball out on Friday night against 1-seed Baylor and also, relax Cards fans, everything will be just fine.