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Early NBA draft entrants — like Ayo Dosunmu, Kofi Cockburn and Paul Reed — are playing the waiting game

Shannon Ryan, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Basketball

CHICAGO -- DePaul forward Paul Reed spent three weeks in Chicago attending a workout facility, where he received one-on-one training with intense drills and a focus on strength and conditioning. Then he was told to go home to Florida and wait.

His agent arranged this mock preparation period so Reed knows what it will be like leading up to the NBA draft.

Whenever that may be.

"A month prior to that, we will do it again," said Reed's agent, Ron Shade, a DePaul graduate who works for Octagon sports agency. "So now it's not foreign to (him). It's an awkward time, but this is the new normal and we'll adjust."

Players who declared early entry into the NBA draft are in a strange limbo. Reed, a junior, and sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu and freshman center Kofi Cockburn of Illinois are among those patiently awaiting a timeline for their futures.

Dates have changed frequently as the league ponders the best path amid the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The NBA, which indefinitely suspended its season March 11, announced May 1 it was postponing the draft lottery and combine that had been scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday in Chicago.

The NCAA also pushed back its June 3 deadline for early draft entrants to withdraw and retain college eligibility, although it has not set a new date.

The pre-draft process is usually a key time for on-the-fence draftees to showcase their talents.

"That's my goal at the end of the day, to play in the NBA and work as hard as I can to be picked as high as possible," Dosunmu said last week on a conference call with reporters. "Of course, I didn't sign with an agent because there's so many uncertainties. But if everything goes the right way and everything gets back on track, of course, I'll be staying in the draft and working out to be the best player I can be."

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