BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — According to a release from the NBA on Wednesday morning, more than 200 players have filed for early entry for the 2020 NBA Draft, and Indiana junior Justin Smith is one of them.
Smith, a 6-foot-8 junior forward from Buffalo Grove, Ill., was the Hoosiers' second-leading scorer (10.4) and rebounder (5.2) behind freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis during their 2020 season. He started every game and played more minutes than anyone.
Jackson-Davis announced on Sunday that he was returning to school.
“The National Basketball Association announced today that 205 players — 163 players from colleges and other educational institutions and 42 international players — have filed as early entry candidates for the 2020 NBA Draft presented by State Farm,” the league announced on Tuesday.
“Players who have applied for early entry have the right to withdraw their names from consideration for the Draft by notifying the NBA of their decision in writing 10 days prior to the 2020 NBA Draft.”
The NBA draft is only two rounds, and only 60 players are chosen each year. A rule change that allows athletes to return to college provided they don't hire an agent has opened the door for player to at least enter the draft and get feedback from the league on their draft prospects, if any. Smith has not hired an agent, and can return to Bloomington if he so chooses.
This year is made much harder by the COVID-19 pandemic. The league usually hosts a draft combine every year, but that will likely be canceled. Direct contact with teams prior to the June 3 deadline to withdraw names from the draft likely won't happen either.
Smith is an outstanding defensive player and rebounder, but his offensive game still needs work. It's highly unlikely that he keeps his name in the draft.
Related Indiana basketball stories
- COMPLETE BIG TEN LIST: Here is the complete list of Big Ten early entrants for eh 2020 NBA Draft — and it's a long list. CLICK HERE
- JACKSON-DAVIS STAYS: Indiana freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis made it official that he's returning to IU for his sophomore season. CLICK HERE
- ANDERSON TO TRANSFER: Indiana sophomore forward Damezi Anderson has entered the NCAA's transfer portal. CLICK HERE