As the NBA looks set to resume play at Disney World in Orlando come the end of June, there will be 22 teams looking to compete for the Larry O’Brien Trophy once again. Not far from their minds and the minds of the eight teams who were not invited to close the season will be the upcoming NBA Draft.
The event of the summer for the NBA, the NBA Draft was initially estimated to commence during the first week of June. Due to the issues surrounding the NBA due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was postponed indefinitely.
A report by ESPN correspondent Adrian Wojnarowski announced the NBA’s plans moving forward with the draft system, now that the regular season’s plans have been put in place.
NBA has set an August 25 Draft Lottery and October 15 Draft, sources say.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 4, 2020
That allows teams almost a full month after the regular season resumes to gather an idea of their odds and possible selection range come the NBA Draft.
Upon the league’s announcement of the NBA Drafts dates, the NCAA was vocal in how they’d manage the choices of their student-athletes moving forward. A release by the NCAA stated:
“Men’s basketball student-athletes will have until 10 days after the NBA draft combine or Aug. 3, whichever comes first, to withdraw from the postponed 2020 NBA draft and retain their eligibility.
Due to the uncertainty of the NBA’s pre-draft process brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee decided Aug. 3 allows a reasonable amount of time for all men’s basketball student-athletes to make a choice about starting a professional career.
This option provides student-athletes up to two months beyond the original withdrawal date of June 3 to decide.”
Given the unique circumstances surrounding this year’s NBA Draft, the NCAA has given players a significant amount of time to decide on their career path. This also allows NBA teams and NCAA teams to accurately account for their rosters, given the accelerated schedule.
With the change in the play and participation format for the resuming NBA season, the NBA also announced how their draft lottery process would change. As stated by the NBA:
“The 14 NBA Lottery teams would be the eight teams that do not participate in the restart and the six teams that participate in the restart but do not qualify for the playoffs. These teams would be seeded in the lottery and assigned odds based on their records through games of March 11.”
The draft lottery and order scenario isn’t too different from what fans are accustomed to. However, the recent changes are meant to encourage teams that are invited to the 22-team return to play, to compete for success. There cannot be a situation where one of the 22 competing teams fails to qualify for the playoffs and receives better lottery odds than one of the eight uninvited clubs.
With that report, the NBA also clarifies who will be considered a lottery team should a play-in tournament occur. Should the play-in tournament occur between eight and nine seeds, it will be the team that doesn’t make the post-season who will be considered a lottery team. Regardless of regular season seeding.
The 2020 NBA Draft was expected to occur at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. However, due to social distancing protocols put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, they make take a digital approach to the draft like the NFL and WNBA.
Players eligible for the NBA Draft must be 19 years of age. Other than that, the only differences occur if you are an NCAA player attempting to maintain eligibility.
The 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled for October 15th, 2020.
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
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