NBA 2020 Draft Delayed To November 18
Despite some small hiccups, the NBA’s bubble environment at Disney World Resort in Orlando is a success. The league went on for months without reporting a positive COVID-19 test from its pool of players and staff.
Moving forward, the NBA now plans for the arrival of the 2020-21 season with a concrete timeline in hands. The NBA reportedly informed the Board of Governors that the 2020-21 season will not begin earlier than December 25, a decision triggered by the community’s concerns about the condensed offseason schedule and the ongoing pandemic. As such, the date of NBA Draft 2020 presented by State Farm has been moved to Wednesday, November 18, and will air on ESPN.
Delaying the draft not only affects the start of the next season but the free-agent signing period as well. The 2020-21 season was projected to kick off by early December until the recent announcement. Meanwhile, the date for the 2020 free-agent period is still unknown. The NBA’s safest option is to hold the free-agent period a few days after the draft.
The draft date, however, remains tentative. Given the ongoing pandemic, the future is uncertain. Anything could happen before the year ends. But if the league pushes through with the given dates, it gives the teams and staff more time to settle draft-related processes.
“The date remains subject to change as circumstances warrant. The revised date allows additional time to conduct the 2020 pre-draft process, gather more information about the potential start date for the 2020-21 season and advance conversations between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association regarding related Collective Bargaining Agreement matters,” the NBA said in a press release.
The league and the NBPA are expected to set the NBA salary cap and luxury-tax line before teams can officially make trades. The figures would be based on revenue projections this year. The projection, of course, was negatively impacted by the pandemic.
While the NBA finalizes more schedules for the next season, everything is going as planned in the 2019-2020 playoffs at the league’s quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.