The NBA draft is scheduled to happen on June 25, but it may not stay there.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony of ESPN, NBA teams are uniting to pressure the league to move the draft back to August 1 or later.
Reporting with @DraftExpress: As information gathering on draft-eligible prospects remains limited in a pandemic, many NBA teams are united in hopes of encouraging the league office to push the date of the June 25 draft until no sooner than August 1. Story soon on ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 10, 2020
As Woj said in his tweet, the issue is the lack of information available on draft-eligible prospects. With the NCAA Tournament cancelled, all they’re allowed to look at is video of games and practice sessions that happened before the NBA suspended its season.
A memo obtained by ESPN details how teams are currently restricted from obtaining any new information on draft-eligible prospects: teams can’t conduct any in person workouts or interviews (which makes sense given the COVID-19 pandemic), but they also can’t request video of recent workouts that players might conduct outside of a team environment. Teams are allowed to conduct video interviews with draft-eligible prospects, but are limited to four hours per player.
There are a lot of moving parts to consider when choosing a new date for the draft. It can’t be done in a vacuum, because ideally it should occur in conjunction with the end of the playoffs and the beginning of free agency. Plus, with the season in suspended animation, holding the draft on the original date of June 25 would mean no trades, and that’s a problem for NBA teams.
Among front-office executives, there is an expectation that no draft would occur while teams are still engaged in the season, because that would preclude an important element of draft night: player trades. That's why team officials believe the draft and free agency should stay connected on the calendar once the season ends.
Since the NBA reportedly wants to crown a champion by Labor Day at the latest, that would place the draft in mid to late September. However, a decision on the draft isn’t expected for weeks. According to Woj and Givony, May 1 is the earliest that commissioner Adam Silver will start to make decisions about remaining dates on the league calendar.
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