The NBA league office informed teams that approximately 100 college seniors have filed as early-entry candidates for the 2021 NBA draft. The list includes some of the most high-profile seniors in the men’s college basketball this past season, such as Iowa’s Luka Garza, Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert, Oregon’s Chris Duarte, Oklahoma’s Austin Reaves and Loyola Chicago’s Cameron Krutwig, according to a memo to teams obtained by ESPN.
This “preliminary early-entry list” includes only college seniors, allowing NBA teams an extra two weeks to conduct due diligence on a group that would have been eligible to conduct workouts and interviews if not for the NCAA’s decision to grant all players an extra year of eligibility in October.
The league office elected to take this approach to ease concerns NBA teams had about being unable to conduct their normal pre-draft process with the senior class due to the sheer volume of players who will be on the early-entry list, joining a group of more than 200 international players and college underclassmen.
The full early-entry list will be released around June 1, following the NBA draft early-entry deadline of May 30. An additional preliminary list for college seniors who enter the draft in the upcoming week will be released on May 25.
Teams are now allowed to contact NCAA seniors on the preliminary list and begin the process of scheduling in-person meetings, including workouts and interviews, provided they comply with the significant health and safety protocols that are in place. Underclassmen will continue to be bound by the no-contact rules until the early-entry list is dispersed in early June.