Wednesday afternoon, Kentucky coach John Calipari shocked the basketball world by tweeting that every single one of his eligible players will enter the 2016 NBA Draft.
Thanks to a new set of rules, players are allowed to enter the draft pool and then withdraw without consequence within 10 days of the scouting combine’s completion in May. So the Wildcats — more than a dozen of them, though 18-year-old Isaac Humphries and mid-season enrollee Tai Wynyard will likely be left out — are going to see what the next level might have in store for them.
In past years, players needed to declare in April, a deadline that helped programs recruit more effectively, but gave student athletes little time to make decisions.
Now, Kentucky is — once again — at the forefront of what could become a major trend.
Here was Calipari’s full message Wednesday:
Met with our team today. Told them that during the season it’s about the team and sacrificing for each other – which they did this year. When the season’s over, it’s about each individual player and what’s right for them and their families. With that being said, every player who is eligible for the draft, including our walk-ons, will submit their names for the NBA Draft in hopes of being invited to the combine in May. The new rule states they can submit their name a total of three times. If they choose to withdraw, they have until 10 days after the combine. It’s a true win-win for the student-athlete.
Kentucky’s season ended Saturday night in Des Moines, where the Wildcats fell to Indiana in a thrilling NCAA tournament matchup.
While several players are expected to move on to the NBA, there’s just as much new talent coming to Lexington next season. Check out our projected 2016-2017 lineup here.