A busy offseason of news continues for the Arizona Wildcats basketball team …
Lauri Markkanen and Kobi Simmons have already declared for the NBA Draft and won’t return, and now comes the news that sophomore post player Chance Comanche will put his name into the draft but won’t hire an agent.
It does no harm to “test the waters,” as he can get professional feedback on his strengths and weaknesses — as well as a good gauge of his draft stock — before making a decision to stay in the draft or return to school.
Entering the draft now doesn’t preclude Comanche from doing the same thing after his junior season. After rule changes in January of 2016, players can enter the draft multiple times and participate in the combine and one NBA team tryout per year.
“I am excited about the opportunity to explore my NBA options, gather information and dedicate the next month to reaching my goals of becoming an NBA player,” Comanche said in a statement released by Arizona. “At the conclusion of this process, my family and I will make the best decision for my future both on and off the court. I also want to thank Coach Miller and the Arizona staff for supporting my decision.”
Comanche, 6-foot-11, averaged 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds last season, appearing in all 37 games, starting once. He led the Wildcats in field goal percentage at 57.1 percent while also leading his team in dunks.
It’s not clear if Comanche would be a starter next season, assuming center Dusan Ristic comes back for his senior season and five-star recruit DeAndre Ayton is starting at one of the post positions (and deciding against turning pro right out of high school, such as Arizona signee Terrence Ferguson did last year).
Here are some key dates to know (Comanche has until May 24 to withdraw from the draft):
April 23 (11:59 p.m.) — NBA early-entry candidate application deadline
This is when a player announces his non-binding intention to enter the NBA draft.
April 25 — NBA teams can start attending workouts with early-entry prospects
Teams can observe the prospect first-hand, not having to wait for the scouting combine like in the past.
April 28 — Draft combine invitations and questionnaires sent to prospects
If a player does not get an invite, chances are he will return to school.
May 9-14 — NBA draft combine (Chicago)
This is the last-chance effort for the prospect to impress scouts that he is worthy enough to be drafted.
May 24 (11:59 p.m.)– NCAA post-combine withdrawal deadline
The last day for prospects to either change their mind and withdraw from the draft or go forward with their NBA aspirations.
June 22 — The NBA Draft in New York