How many times can you enter the NBA Draft as a player?

Understanding the NBA Draft

Before we delve into the specifics of how many times a player can enter the NBA Draft, it's crucial to have a thorough understanding of what the NBA Draft is and how it operates. The NBA Draft is an annual event where teams from the National Basketball Association (NBA) can draft players who are eligible and wish to join the league. These players usually come from college basketball, overseas leagues, or directly from high school. The order of selection is based on a combination of lottery, regular season records, and playoff results.

First-Time Entry into the NBA Draft

For a player to enter the NBA Draft for the first time, there are certain eligibility criteria they must meet. Firstly, a player needs to be at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft. In terms of education requirements, American players must be at least one year removed from the graduation of their high school class while international players must be at least 22 years old.

Withdrawal from the NBA Draft

After declaring for the NBA Draft, a player has the option of withdrawing his name and returning to college (provided they have remaining eligibility and haven't hired an agent). The deadline for withdrawing from the draft is usually ten days after the conclusion of the NBA Draft Combine. If a player withdraws their name from the draft without selecting an agent, they retain their college eligibility.

Re-Entry into the NBA Draft

If a player has declared for the NBA Draft and wasn't selected, they can return to college or play overseas and then declare for the NBA Draft again, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. In this case, a player can enter the NBA Draft more than once. It is important to note that once a player is drafted by an NBA team, even if they don’t sign with that team, they can’t enter the NBA Draft again.

Limitations on NBA Draft Entries

Although players can enter the NBA Draft more than once, the number of times a player can enter the draft is capped. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), a player can enter the NBA Draft a maximum of two times. Therefore, if a player declares for the draft, withdraws, re-enters, and is not selected, they cannot enter the draft again.

Consequences of Multiple NBA Draft Entries

While entering the NBA Draft multiple times might seem like a good strategy for players to increase their chances of being picked, there are potential downsides. For one, a player might lose out on valuable college playing time and experience. Additionally, if a player enters the draft multiple times and isn't selected, it could be a sign to teams that the player is not of NBA caliber, which could hurt their chances in the professional league in the future.

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