The outlook for the NBA’s currently suspended season is looking clearer and clearer. In a statement released by the NBA, the NBA Draft Lottery, scheduled for May 19, and the NBA Draft Combine, Scheduled for May 21-24, have been postponed indefinitely.
The NBA’s statement on the decision read:
The NBA today announced the postponement of NBA Draft Lottery 2020 and NBA Draft Combine 2020, both scheduled to take place later this month in Chicago. More information on each event will be shared at a later date as the NBA continues to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic and consult with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government officials.
While the lottery process and the combine itself has been postponed, the projected date for the upcoming NBA Draft, set for June 25, hasn’t been taken off the table.
Considering both the NFL and WNBA successfully operated their draft process remotely, there is hope that the NBA would be able to do the same. In fact, the NHL Draft, which is yet to occur, may still occur in June.
The NFL and WNBA held their drafts virtually, via live stream, in order to comply with social distancing recommendations. The NBA has even said they could partner with 2K Games to create a virtual experience unlike any other.
Despite the announcement of the change in the NBA Draft schedule, most sportsbooks haven’t seen a significant change in wagers on the draft itself.
Now with less public information coming to the forefront, save for players pulling out of the draft, bets made on draft position, and player props are not expected to fluctuate as heavily.
The NBA Draft Combine and pro days are usually where bets take a big turn-based on player performance and health. With all public pre-draft basketball evaluation now released, the only factors that could drastically change odds would be pull-outs, injuries, or public statements by teams.
The NBA and the NBPA have been working diligently in order to come to an agreement on how contracts will be managed due to the suspended NBA season.
The free agency period has become a big topic in the offseason due to the recent trend of big-name players moving markets. While it doesn’t really matter when the NBA offseason begins, free agents and trades are now, seemingly, taken off the table for the upcoming draft.
The NBA board of governors have had several meetings regarding the start of the NBA season. One member made a statement regarding the value of restarting the season in December in terms of attendance.
If you start in December, that doesn’t mean the people are coming back in December, but maybe they’re back by March.
Moving the start of the season to the end of the year would also help the NBA divert some eyes from the NFL’s competitive fall viewership over to them in December. It would also mean that the NBA offseason, rather than games themselves, would compete with the NFL’s start.
While nothing is set in stone, the postponement to the NBA Draft Lottery and NBA Draft Combine are the first real news released since Adam Silver’s 30-day hiatus on the NBA’s future.
The NBA Draft Lottery is a process by which the NBA determines the order by which teams can select the rights to eligible players in the current draft pool.
A weighted lottery system, the top 14 picks of the NBA draft are chosen at random with odds adjusted based on the team record. Essentially, the better the record, the less chance that a team can receive the first overall pick.
The NBA Draft Combine is an event put on by the NBA and its associated scouting departments in order to quantitatively measure certain attributes of its draft-eligible players. Things such as bench press reps, full-court sprint speed, and vertical jump are viewed, recorded, and made public to better evaluate a player.
All NBA teams attend the NBA Draft Combine. However, a pro day is put on by a players’ agency in order to give players a better opportunity to be noticed. These pro days usually occur in private and are on a much smaller scale in comparison to the NBA Draft Combine.
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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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