As the NBA approaches the opening of training camps on June 30 for its 22-team restart, the league is ironing out key dates for the unprecedented offseason ahead.
The NBA Draft is set for Oct. 16, with free agency opening on Oct. 18, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The early entry deadline for the draft will be on Aug. 17, the early withdrawal deadline Oct. 6, and the moratorium period of free agency (when deals can be agreed to but not officially consummated) will run from Oct. 19 - 23, all per Wojnarowski.
That all culminates in the following offseason timeline.
June 23 - 30: Transaction window for all 30 teams (via The Athletic's Shams Charania)
Aug. 17: Early entry deadline for draft
Aug. 25: NBA Draft Lottery
Oct. 6: Early withdrawal deadline for draft
Oct. 13: Potential Game 7 of the NBA Finals (via Charania)
Oct. 16: 2020 NBA Draft
Oct. 18: Free agency opens at 6 p.m. ET (via Wojnarowski)
Oct. 19 - 23: Moratorium period
Oct. 24: Moratorium lifts
That's quite the turnaround, but it will be necessary due to the unprecedented hurdles the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced for the league. The season was suspended on March 11 after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, with play currently tabbed to resume at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. on July 30.
But, excluded from the restart, the Bulls' focus will be honed in on those offseason dates. With their season record of 22-43 locked in, the Bulls own the league's seventh-best lottery odds, which, under guidelines instituted in 2019, give them roughly a (gulp) 19.7% chance at the seventh pick, a 7.5% chance at No. 1 and a 32% shot at leaping into the Top 4. A familiar drumbeat.
As for free agency, much is still up in the air given the unknowable impact the coronavirus-induced hiatus will have on the salary cap. Regardless, if (when) Otto Porter Jr. opts into his $28.5 million player option for 2020-21, the Bulls will be effectively out of the running for clearing any kind of appreciable cap space. Decisions on restricted free agents Kris Dunn, Denzel Valentine and Shaq Harrison, though, loom.
And so, the waiting game continues.
Report: NBA Draft scheduled for October 16, free agency to open October 18 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago