With the COVID-19 crisis still holding up the remainder of the 2019-20 season, the NBA recently announced the postponement of the league’s draft lottery and the NBA Draft Combine. Both events will be rescheduled for later this month in Chicago.
The draft remains on the league schedule for June 25, but the annual event cannot take place until there is a draft order. The order, of course, cannot be determined until the lottery takes place. In a normal NBA season, the lottery cannot take place until the regular season has finished.
With the regular season not complete, there is no definitive word on whether or not the draft will be rescheduled. There is still nothing on how the NBA will finish the 2019-20 season either. The league could declare the regular season over and start the playoffs immediately. That might be the scenario is leaning toward. With the regular season over, the lottery could take place as planned later this month.
There are also questions surrounding the pre-draft process. In year’s past, prospects traveled all over the country to participate in workouts and interviews with various NBA teams. That is not going to happen. It is also unlikely that the NBA Draft Combine will be held. The event usually takes place in mid-May.
NBA practice facilities are just starting to open up with the latest directive from NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Not all facilities will be open either. Dallas owner Mark Cuban doesn’t believe any NBA teams should open up just yet. With this in mind, it is hard to believe the league would allow a large number of NBA draft prospects to come together in one location.
The top prospects in this year’s draft include Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, and 7-footer James Wiseman. NCAA national player of the year Obi Toppin of Dayton figures to go high as does Isaac Okoro from Auburn.
The lack of a draft combine, pre-draft workouts, and interviews will most likely have a greater effect on the 205 prospects that declared early for the draft.