TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Junior guard John Petty Jr. and sophomore guard Kira Lewis Jr. will apply for the NBA Draft, Alabama coach Nate Oats announced on Tuesday.
With both players pursuing a career in the NBA, the process would typically begin with the players undergoing workouts in front of team scouts. However, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, those workouts currently remain unscheduled.
"They're both going to put their name into the draft," Oats said. "They're going to go through workouts whenever those are — and that's the thing, too. These early entrants with this year, I mean everything's up in the air.
"I talked to a few NBA scouts. They're talking like the NBA is gonna start back up with the regular season in July. There's just so much uncertainty."
Both Petty and Lewis had solid seasons for the Crimson Tide. In 30 games due to the shortened season, Petty led the team in both three-pointers and rebounds with 85 and 190, respectively. Lewis led the team in overall points with 573 and averaged 18.5 points per game.
Both players were expected to enter the NBA draft following the season, so this comes as no surprise. However, with the uncertainty that currently surrounds the NBA, it is difficult to determine when the players will be able to go through the formal process of preparing for the draft.
"You know Kira and John both had really good years," Oats said. "They're both All-SEC players but I think they both have to get — they both need to have some good workouts to get themselves where they want to be and we just don't know when those are gonna be."
The pre-draft camps and workouts provide feedback from scouts for the players to help them determine whether or not they are adequately prepared for the draft. The deadline for a player to officially declare for the draft is 60 days prior to draft day. This is usually more than enough time for the players to receive feedback and make a decision on whether or not to leave their respective college programs, but with the unique situation that players are now facing due to the coronavirus, deadlines might have to possibly be moved.
In addition to NBA deadlines, the NCAA also has dates set in place on when a player must announce whether he is returning for the next season.
Oats spoke briefly on the possibility of these deadlines being moved.
"The NCAA in my opinion is going to have to push back some deadlines to kinda match with the NBA," Oats said. "We don't even know when the draft gonna happen.
"Once I think we get through this initial social distancing and when anything can start back up I think we'll have a better idea on some of that type of stuff."
One thing to remember is that just because a player enters their name into the NBA draft does not necessarily mean that they will leave the program. If a player receives negative feedback from scouts, then they have the option to return for another season of college basketball.
The reception of said feedback is what Petty and Lewis need most to make their final decisions, along with countless other players in the NCAA. Unfortunately, all players will have to wait until the current situation passes and life can resume back to normal.
With the solid performances that both Petty and Lewis had in the 2019-2020 season, it is safe to assume that both players will enter the draft.
"Those are the two guys that'll be putting their name in and just kinda seeing where they're gonna land," Oats said. "Based on the feedback that they get both may leave. We're planning on possibly not having either of them back."
Only time will tell when both players will be able to show off their skills to the professional basketball world.