Skip to main content

NBA Draft Rule Changes Explained: The New System for Hiring Agents and Returning to School

The NCAA relaxed their rules surrounding college players' relationships with agents in a series of 2018 policy changes.

In the wake of the FBI college basketball scandal, the NCAA adopted a series of policy and rules changes in 2018 that alter the process by which a college player is allowed to test the NBA draft waters.

Under the new rules adopted by the NCAA's board of governors and Division I board of directors, college players are allowed to be represented by agents who are certified by the NBPA and NCAA (the agents must become NCAA-certified no later than Aug. 1, 2020) after any season, so long as they request an "evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee." They must end the relationship if they return to school.

The list of non-senior players who have declared for the 2019 NBA draft is here.

Agents will be permitted to pay for meals and transportation for players and their families during the agent selection process and for meetings with pro teams, if changes are made to existing agent acts and state laws.

Players can also now return to school after going undrafted without losing eligibility, but only if they participated in the NBA combine.

Because of these changes, it will remain a bit unclear who will return to school for 2019–20 until late May.

Under the organization's previous rules, players with college eligibility remaining who wanted the option of returning to college could not hire an agent and had to withdraw from the draft well before it actually occurred.

"Elite" high school prospects will also be allowed to hire agents if the NBA changes its draft rules.