A record 236 players were on the NBA’s official early-entry list, including 181 from the college ranks.
The deadline for underclassmen and international players to file with the NBA was Sunday night.
Last year, 182 players, including 137 from American colleges, were on the early-entry list, up from 162 total and 117 from colleges in 2016.
Sixty-four college underclassmen kept their names in the NBA draft a year ago, which was up from 60 in 2016. This year, more than 55 college underclassmen have already either signed with an agent or announced they will sign with an agent, forgoing their remaining college eligibility. That list includes likely lottery picks Deandre Ayton (Arizona), Marvin Bagley III (Duke), Jaren Jackson Jr., (Michigan State), Michael Porter Jr. (Missouri) and Mohamed Bamba (Texas). Luka Doncic, expected to be selected in the top five in the June 21 NBA draft, was one of the 55 international players to declare.
However, the majority of the college underclassmen who have declared have not yet signed with an agent. The NBA rule allows players to retain their eligibility as long as they withdraw before May 30, 10 days after the conclusion of the May 16-20 NBA draft combine in Chicago.
A few key players, and potential first-rounders, decided not to test the NBA’s draft process, including Arkansas big man Daniel Gafford, Gonzaga sophomore forward Rui Hachimura and Virginia redshirt freshman De’Andre Hunter.
Among the record-setting number of players who will go through the process, hope to receive an invite to the combine and work out for NBA teams are Final Four Most Outstanding Player Donte DiVincenzo of Villanova, Syracuse wing Tyus Battle and Boston College’s Jerome Robinson. A trio of Kentucky players — Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hamidou Diallo — declared with an agent, while fellow Wildcats Wenyen Gabriel, Jarred Vanderbilt and PJ Washington all decided to declare without an agent.