Tuesday is the first of the two relevant dates for potential entries to the NBA Draft, and it is largely an artificial deadline.
If it passes without anything concrete from Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright or DeAndre Daniels, it would not be surprising or significant. If any of them had previously entered the draft, they have until April 16 to change their mind and retain eligibility. They don’t have to declare they are staying, they are staying until they declare otherwise.
The real deadline is April 28, that’s the date by which a player must decide he is going. Why not keep one’s options open as long as possible?
Having said all that, it does appear all but certain and official now that Napier, Boatright and Daniels are going to return to UConn for their senior, junior and junior seasons, respectively. I’ve heard nothing to indicate otherwise. None are projected as a high enough pick to make a good case for leaving. Napier, who might have been the most likely, is still in and out of the walking boot on his injured foot, so he would have little chance to impress scouts in workouts and improve his stock.
Back when players could wait until June to decide to return, they could really work out for teams and get a more solid sense of there they’d go. Not the case now. The window for dipping a toe in the water is past. If a player were leaving he would have said so by now. Last year, Jeremy Lamb made his decision by April 10, Andre Drummond on April 12.
UConn will have its official groundbreaking ceremony for the new basketball training facility today at 1 p.m. and perhaps we will find out more. Kevin Ollie will be there, and maybe some of the players. … Work on the building began weeks ago and is picking up speed, by the looks of things. Incidentally, this week UConn will have a groundbreaking ceremony where ground has already been broken, and a logo-unveiling ceremony on Thursday for a logo that has already been unveiled. Gotta love it.