Pushing back the NBA draft early-entry deadline to May 24 is great for players. It allows them to attend the draft combine, go through team workouts and receive legitimate feedback from NBA teams. Players don't have to rush into a decision.
On the other hand, it puts college teams in a difficult position. Yes, they should have had a contingency plan in place for this possibility -- but if a player was truly 50-50 on his decision, there's not much a school can do. By this time, most of the impact recruits and graduate transfers are already committed.
So what's the plan for North Carolina, Michigan and Purdue -- which all saw a key player depart on deadline day?
North Carolina: The Tar Heels might be the team hit the hardest by Wednesday's decisions. Tony Bradley would have been one of the best big men in college basketball next season, after playing a supporting role behind Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks as a freshman. He averaged 7.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in fewer than 15 minutes per game -- numbers that would have increased in a major way next season. Coach Roy Williams doesn't have anyone poised to step in and play 30 minutes immediately. Luke Maye was replacing Hicks, leaving three freshmen to battle for minutes at the 5: Garrison Brooks, Brandon Huffman and Sterling Manley.
Brooks was a late addition in April, and he could have been North Carolina's insurance plan in case Bradley ended up departing. Huffman improved as his high school career progressed and could be hitting his stride. Manley was hindered by injury last spring and summer, but he impressed once healthy. In an ideal world, Williams would be able to let the three newcomers play behind Bradley and gradually adapt to the college game. That's not going to happen. One other option is Pittsburgh graduate transfer Cameron Johnson, who is blocked by the Panthers from transferring within the league but is expected to visit Chapel Hill next week anyway. If Johnson joins the Tar Heels, Williams could play a smaller lineup with all of his perimeter pieces -- lessening the pressure on the three freshman bigs.
Michigan: Heading into the season, coach John Beilein certainly didn't anticipate losing D.J. Wilson after his junior year. Wilson played fewer than seven minutes per game as a sophomore and averaged 2.9 points. But Wilson was one of the breakout stars of March, scoring 26 points against Purdue in the Big Ten tournament and averaging 16.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in his final six games. Wednesday's return of Moritz Wagner will help soften the blow of Wilson's departure, but Beilein still will have to find some reinforcements -- especially given that starting perimeter players Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin are also gone. Transfers Charles Matthews (Kentucky) and Jaaron Simmons (Ohio) will be counted on to shoulder plenty of responsibility right away, and Matthews is going to have a major role defensively.
The frontcourt has more question marks. Duncan Robinson started at the power forward spot two seasons ago, scoring in double figures, but took more of a back seat last season. He could see an increase in minutes. Beilein also has Class of 2016 centers Jon Teske and Austin Davis. Teske saw spot minutes last season, while Davis redshirted. ESPN 100 signee Isaiah Livers is more in the mold of Wilson -- despite the 4-inch height difference -- in that he can step out and make shots from the perimeter as a stretch-4.
Purdue: Coach Matt Painter and the Boilermakers were prepared for this. Caleb Swanigan was one of the most productive players in college basketball last season, and his stock was probably not going to go any higher had he stayed in college. That said, Swanigan would have been the preseason National Player of the Year if he returned to Purdue -- and that's not easy to replace. Painter did receive a boost when frontcourt pieces Vince Edwards and Isaac Haas withdrew their names from the NBA draft and returned to West Lafayette.
Haas is the key for Purdue next season. He has been very productive during his three seasons for the Boilermakers despite never playing more than 20 minutes per game. Can he start playing 25 minutes a night? If you extrapolate his numbers to 25.0 minutes, Haas would be putting up more than 16 points and six rebounds. That would go a long way toward replacing Swanigan. Painter also has 7-foot-2 center Matt Haarms eligible. The four-star prospect enrolled at Purdue in January, and he took a redshirt last season. With a semester under his belt, Haarms will be better prepared for minutes in the 2017-18 season.