Potential NBA rookies bracing for lockout

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CHICAGO (AP) - Potential NBA rookies know they could be locked out. They just don’t know yet exactly what they’ll do if that happens.

They’ve got plans, though.

“We know for sure there’s a lockout,” San Diego State forward Kawhi Leonard said Friday. “Nobody knows right now how far it will go or what’s really going to happen. I’m just staying focused on myself and try to get better.”

The NBA draft is scheduled for June 23 and the league could shut down as early as July 1 when a labor agreement between the league and players expires at the end of June.

Florida State forward Chris Singleton said he’ll train privately during a hiatus and resume classes to finishing his degree.

“I’m 21 hours short and I intend to go back to school,” Singleton said. “School is very important to me, my mom always preached it and I know I’ve got to do it for her because I’m the first in my family to go to college.”

Leonard and Singleton are among 54 potential draftees participating in two days of pre-draft evaluations in Chicago.

The last lockout occurred in 1998-99. When the two sides signed a six-year collective bargaining agreement, the NBA staged a shortened 50-game regular season that began in February 1999.

Florida forward Chandler Parsons, who graduated earlier this month with a degree in telecommunications, isn’t sure what he’d do.

“Right now you’re just thinking about getting drafted and getting on a team.” said Parsons, projected as a second-round pick. “It all depends on what situation you’re in _ when you get picked, where you get picked, what that organization wants you to do and what your agent wants you to do.

“I’m going to have to sit down with my agent and decide what to do _ where to work out, where to live and how to live. It’s going to be a different experience.”

Potential No. 1 draft choice Kyrie Irving’s agent suggested he not participate in many of this week’s combine drills.

“I’m a really competitive person and it really hurt not being out there today,” Irving said. “I just wanted to go out there and show everyone I can compete with the best.

“We discussed it and he felt it wasn’t best for me to do anything at the combine and just save myself for private workouts I have coming up.”

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