Just when it seemed safe to come out of the transfer portal for the final time this offseason, former Harvard forward Chris Ledlum decommitted from Tennessee and went back into the portal — on July 13. Fortunately for diehard portal watchers, he committed to St. John’s a week later, meaning every player in ESPN’s top 100 transfer rankings is now off the board.
So even if there are some late entrants into the portal, it’s time to take stock of the comings and goings of this offseason’s portal activities.
It’s a sign of the times that we’ve waited more than four months after the portal window opened to finally assess the winners, losers and everything in between. The potentially record-setting number of portal entrants this spring came in waves. There was the initial surge, when the window first opened March 13, then a steady stream for the next couple of weeks until after the NCAA tournament. What followed was a lull until the days leading up to the window closing May 13, when there was another influx. Once the window closed for undergraduate transfers, things slowed down considerably, but graduate transfers and players who withdrew their names from the NBA draft continued to enter.
What’s next? Two-time transfers anxiously watch whether college football players in similar situations receive waivers from the NCAA to play right away. (More on waiver hopefuls later.) There are also coaches curious to see if any graduate transfers — for whom portal deadlines don’t apply — go on foreign tours with their current teams and opt to reenter the portal if they’re unhappy with their role there.
So, it’s true, the portal never really stops. But here’s our evaluation of the 2023 men’s college basketball transfer window: