The NBA has announced that, unsurprisingly, the 2020 NBA Draft lottery and combine (which were both scheduled for later this month in Chicago) have been postponed indefinitely.
“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,” the NBA noted in their official release.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported a couple of other discussions the NBA’s Board of Governors had when they came to the decision to postpone the combine and lottery. They decided to hold off on officially pushing back the date of the draft (scheduled for June 25), but it’s still expected to be delayed. It’s hard to see it going ahead on the original date.
They also talked about the benefits of moving back the start of the 2020-21 season to December.
Among the discussion topics today on the call: The merits of moving back the start of the 2020-2021 until December, sources said. Part of that ongoing converation surrounds the opportunity a delay could give NBA teams to get more fans in arenas for more games next season.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 1, 2020
Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports noted that one team expressed some confidence that the lottery and combine being delayed is an indicator the NBA is working towards finishing the 2019-20 season.
It's not a surprise the league postponed the lottery and combine. One silver lining that a team just told me: "We feel like this is better news than ever that we'll finish the season. Can't have the lottery without the standings being locked. We feel like we'll finish the year."— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) May 1, 2020
Now, it’s worth keeping an eye on how the NCAA decides to handle this situation. Players who want to maintain their college eligibility must withdraw from the draft 10 days after the draft combine — the current date for this would be June 3.
Even though the Philadelphia 76ers don’t have to worry about the lottery this year, this is obviously still an extremely important draft for them, whenever it happens. They need cheap talent more than ever, and with the Oklahoma City Thunder pick (currently 22nd) and four second-rounders (including the 34th and 36th selections), they’ll have the opportunity to find some notable talent. They just need to make sure they value those second-round picks this year.
We’ll continue posting plenty of analysis of draft prospects in the coming months. In the meantime, you can check out this big board Daniel Olinger has written for us to get a good overview of first-round prospects.