Until the league says otherwise in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA Draft is scheduled for June 25 in Brooklyn.
The deadline for college underclassmen to declare for the draft came on April 26, the deadline for college underclassmen to remove their names from consideration and retain NCAA eligibility is June 3.
With 163 underclassmen among the 205 names on the early-entry list, there will not be roster clarity in college basketball until June 3, potentially longer if the draft and its related elements get backed up. The NBA has not announced the postponement of the draft, but momentum is building towards such a move. For now, though, June 3 is the key date.
Ten Pac-12 teams have at least one player going through the NBA Draft process, with varying degrees of severity in terms of star power and rotation minutes potentially lost. Below is a look at where all Pac-12 teams stand as June 3 looms.
2019-20 record: 21-11, 10-8 Pac-12
NBA Draft early entrants: Josh Green (Fr., G), Nico Mannion (Fr., G), Zeke Nnaji (Fr., F)
Analysis: The situation in Tucson is not difficult to decipher. Mannion and Green are both projected top-21 picks by ESPN draft analysts Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz. Nnaji is currently projected at 34, with enough upside to work his way into the first round. None of the three are merely testing the waters, but rather staying in the draft. Collectively, that is a huge loss for Arizona, but the Wildcats have the No. 2-rated recruiting class in the Pac-12 coming in. Most recently, Sean Miller scored commitments from a pair of European standouts, French big man Daniel Batcho and Estonian guard Kerr Kriisa.
2019-20 record: 20-11, 11-7 Pac-12
NBA Draft early entrants: Remy Martin (Jr., G), Alonzo Verge Jr. (Jr., G), Romello White (Jr., F)
Analysis: Arizona State has a lot to lose if things go the wrong way this month. Martin was an All-Pac-12 first-team selection as a junior after scoring 19.1 points per game for the Sun Devils, who were firmly in the NCAA Tournament field before it was cancelled. White will test the waters, but things are more complicated there given he entered the transfer portal as a graduate transfer. With three guys in the wind, Arizona State has one of the nation’s top recruits coming in, five-star shooting guard Joshua Christopher.
2019-20 record: 14-18, 7-11 Pac-12
NBA Draft early entrants: None
Analysis: Cal has had a low-profile offseason to this point. No one would have argued if Matt Bradley tested the draft waters, but he, Grant Anticevich, and Andre Kelly appear set to return as three of the team’s five leading scorers from last season. The Golden Bears have no one in the draft mix, and have not been decimated by the transfer portal. Bradley returning is the key, but little volatility elsewhere cannot be overstated if Cal is going to take a step forward.
2019-20 record: 21-11, 10-8 Pac-12
NBA Draft early entrants: Tyler Bey (Jr., F), McKinley Wright IV (Jr., G)
Analysis: Neither Bey, the Pac-12’s leading rebounder, nor Wright IV declaring for the draft came as a surprise after both had productive junior seasons. It also came as no surprise on Friday when news broke that Bey would sign with an agent and keep his name in the draft. All eyes now shift to Wright IV, twice an All-Pac-12 first-team point guard, who would be very hard to replace, at least in the short term, for the Buffaloes.
2019-20 record: 24-7, 13-5 Pac-12, regular-season champion
NBA Draft early entrants: None
Analysis: The Ducks lose Payton Pritchard after the senior was named Pac-12 Player of the Year, but they still feel like the preseason favorite to again win the league. On Friday, Oregon scored immediately-eligible UNLV graduate transfer Amauri Hardy, who will join an experienced core including senior guard Chris Duarte and junior guard Will Richardson. Four-star point guard Jalen Terry could offer immediate help. The fact none of Dana Altman’s underclassmen entered the NBA Draft should be viewed as a mild upset.
2019-20 record: 18-13, 7-11 Pac-12
NBA Draft early entrants: Ethan Thompson (Jr., G)
Analysis: Oregon State needs Ethan Thompson to return because if he leaves, the cupboard is pretty bare. High-scoring guard Tres Tinkle is gone, as is athletic, defensive-minded rim protector Kylor Kelley. Either way, Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle is going the JUCO route in search of immediate help, nailing down commitments in the last two months from Tallahassee (Flor.) Community College shooting guard Tariq Silver and Kilgore (Texas) Junior College power forward Rodrigue Tha Andela.
2019-20 record: 20-12, 9-9 Pac-12
NBA Draft early entrants: Tyrell Terry (Fr., G)
Analysis: Stanford does not have the draft intrigue Arizona State does, but it’s close. Tyrell Terry burst onto the scene as a freshman, averaging 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the Cardinal. Stanford does not have any other draft situations, nor does it have any real transfer portal concerns at the moment. With Terry, the return of Oscar da Silva and Daejon Davis, plus the arrival of five-star wing Ziaire Williams, Stanford can legitimately win the Pac-12. Williams is the highest-rated recruit in the history of the program, per the 247sports composite.
2019-20 record: 19-12, 12-6 Pac-12
NBA Draft early entrants: Jalen Hill (So., F), Chris Smith (Jr., F)
Analysis: Chris Smith took a significant step forward under first-year head coach Mick Cronin on his way to being named the Pac-12’s Most Improved Player. His presence makes UCLA a threat in the top third of the Pac-12 in 2021. If the Bruins lose both Hill and Smith, that would represent 22.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game of production out the door. It would be tough to expedite a renaissance in Westwood without them next season, especially since Cronin has not gotten the recruiting end of things cranked up to a high level just yet.
2019-20 record: 22-9, 11-7 Pac-12
NBA Draft early entrants: Onyeka Okongwu (Fr., F)
Analysis: The bad news is that Okongwu, slated as the No. 5 overall pick by ESPN, is a mortal lock to remain in the draft. The good news is that Evan Mobley, the class of 2020’s No. 1-rated center and No. 3 overall recruit, arrives this fall. Led by Okongwu, USC’s top five scorers from last season are gone. That includes sophomore guard Elijah Weaver, who is in the transfer portal.
2019-20 record: 16-15, 7-11 Pac-12
NBA Draft early entrants: Both Gach (So., G), Timmy Allen (So., G/F)
Analysis: Utah is slated to return everyone of consequence from one of the youngest teams in the country, but impending decisions from Gach and Allen will have important ramifications either way. Gach had an up-and-down sophomore season, but remains the Utes’ best offensive player when he has it going. Allen can defend at least three positions and Utah’s leading scorer in 2020. If they come back, the Utes will enter the season as a threat. If one or both leave, it puts more pressure on a strong freshman class to contribute immediately.
2019-20 record: 15-17, 5-13 Pac-12
NBA Draft early entrants: Jaden McDaniels (Fr., F), Isaiah Stewart (Fr., F)
Analysis: Like Arizona, Washington’s guys are not testing the waters, but rather going to the NBA. McDaniels and Stewart are both first-round talents and have been viewed as such since their junior years of high school. The shame of it is, the Huskies did not make good use of the one year they got out of McDaniels and Stewart, going in the tank after Quade Green was ruled academically ineligible.
2019-20 record: 16-16, 6-12 Pac-12
NBA Draft early entrants: CJ Elleby (So., G)
Analysis: Elleby declared for the draft in 2019 as a freshman, but pulled his name before the deadline. He declares now for the second time after averaging 18.4 and 7.8 rebounds for the Cougars. Ellby would do no favors for second-year head coach Kyle Smith, who is presiding over one of the toughest jobs in the Pac-12. Washington State has just five NCAA Tournament appearances since 1941 and none since going to the Sweet 16 in 2008.