The impact of the NBA lockout

Draft-eligible players could face the odd situation of not knowing whether they will start their rookie season with an operating NBA team.

A lockout is scheduled to go into effect July 1. Players must declare for the NBA Draft by April 24 and have until May 8 to withdraw if they do not hire an agent.

“This lockout, really kind of screws everything up,” John Calipari said Wednesday. “I think a lot of kids are pulling their names. What if the lockout goes the whole year? What kind of mistake did you make?”

Although the lockout isn’t official yet, Calipari acted as if it was a foregone conclusion.

“The lockout’s happening,” Calipari said.

Reports surfaced Wednesday that the NBA had canceled its annual summer league, a sign that the NBA is headed toward a work stoppage. College underclassmen now have to contemplate more factors than normal when deciding on whether to declare for the draft.

Because rookies couldn’t work out with the team that drafted them, Calipari said it would be up to each individual player to stay motivated enough to work out.

“But you’re paying for that,” Calipari said. “And you’re not making any money.”

While first-round draft picks could get money from agents while the NBA isn’t playing, that money would have to be paid back – and with interest.

“It’s not as easy right now,” Calipari said. “The whole thing is, are you ready to do this? Are you ready for this lockout?”

Calipari said he thought the potential lockout was a reason why some top players, such as Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones III, had decided to come back to college. That opens up more spots toward the top of the draft for those who do enter.

“This lockout changes things,” Calipari said. “Anyone being picked from the middle of the first round and up, now you’re middle of the first round and down.”