NBA Teams Want To Delay Draft Until At Least August 1

A number of NBA teams are united in their hopes of convincing the league to delay its June 25 draft until at least August 1, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

As Wojnarowski and Givony explain, top team executives around the NBA want to postpone the draft since it would increase the possibility of salvaging certain aspects of the pre-draft process, including in-person workouts, interviews, and medical evaluations. The coronavirus pandemic makes those in-person meetings impossible for the time being.

The NBA recently sent out guidelines to its teams for the pre-draft process, prohibiting clubs from watching live video workouts or from conducting more than four total hours of virtual meetings – including up to two in a single week – with a single prospect.

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports notes (via Twitter) that teams also aren’t permitted to request or watch any videos of player workouts that took place after April 6. Essentially, teams are limited to studying film of games and practices that occurred before the NBA and NCAA shut down play last month.

While delaying the draft is certainly an idea the NBA has discussed, commissioner Adam Silver has said the league won’t make any major decisions on its calendar until at least May 1, and the NBA is sticking to that timeline for now, as Woj and Givony report.

Wojnarowski and Givony also point out that a tentative draft-date change from June 25 to August 1 could give the NBA additional flexibility as it gets more clarity in the coming months. If the remainder of the 2019/20 season is canceled, the draft could continue as planned on August 1. If the league is able to resume play, the event could be pushed back further, perhaps even to September.

Essentially, teams don’t want a situation where the draft takes place before the 2019/20 season is officially over, since it would prevent clubs from making any trades that involve players. Team officials around the league believe the draft and free agency should “stay connected,” taking place after the season formally ends, per ESPN’s report.

As for the impact that a postponed draft might have on the NCAA, Jeremy Woo of SI.com writes that college programs are already facing a series of new challenges during this year’s recruiting period due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pushing back the draft would only exacerbate the roster-building process for college coaches.

Givony acknowledges in a pair of tweets that a draft delay would complicate things for college coaches — especially those whose underclassmen are testing the draft waters. However, Givony adds that he has spoken to several prospects who like the idea of a postponement, particularly if it increases the chances of restoring part of the pre-draft process and ensuring there’s some form of Summer League.

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13 thoughts on “NBA Teams Want To Delay Draft Until At Least August 1

  1. natsfan3437

    I don’t want to hear the argument “we won’t know about the prospects fully without seeing them workout”, do your jobs correctly and you should already know.

    The only argument that I would hear is for the players to walk across the stage and have their moment.

    Any executive BS I don’t care about, if you can’t do your jobs properly then you shouldn’t have them to begin with.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      are you serious? this is an asinine position. would you invest in a stock that you did research on 3 months ago and still trust that you’re making a sound investment?

      • natsfan3437

        They haven’t had an entire season up until this point?

        They don’t have scouts dedicated to this specific task collecting data for the team?

        They don’t have free time currently while in Quarantine?

        They aren’t given interviews over Skype?

        They aren’t given workouts they can watch?

        But oh no they need more time so they can make up more excuse because they drafted the wrong guy again for the 13th year in a row and keep their jobs still.

        Good teams will find a way to keep getting better and a way around the issue bad teams with continue to tank and keep making excuses as to why they suck and look forward to next seasons draft thinking they will finally turn it around when they won’t.

        • ThePeople'sElbow

          it’d be one thing if it was the Cavs, the Hawks, and other teams complaining but when you have basically every team reaching this consensus, it’s hard to argue against it.

  2. With how many college kids entered the draft this year they probably want to see some work outs instead of going by videos. can’t blame the teams no need to rush the draft because training camp doesn’t start until after August.

  3. OCTraveler

    Great for the league but for those players who might want to return to school, it places them and their college programs in a bad place. The player needs to make sure he remains academically eligible to return and the program needs to have time to fill potential roster/scholarship openings.

  4. x%sure

    The key thing is the uniformity of rules, that whatever policy is in place gets followed evenly between teams. Enforcement takes effort, and unity will gradually break down, so it would help if things proceeded as quickly as possible after 19/20 ends. Individual claims of ‘not enough time’ matter less.

    • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

      I can, to an extent, understand the “no transactions involving contracts” rule, but I don’t really understand why video research and/or conferencing with potential draft targets is limited. Any light you can shed on that?

      • x%sure

        There is a fear that agents will try to groove their clients to certain teams that potentially makes them the most money, by allowing these teams extra live looks or chats or conditioning updates, whatever.
        Thus a limit for everyone even though it’s basically intended for the more glamorous franchises.
        Most teams are ready to be resentful!
        There was one HR article on this a while ago, but there may be a lack of quotable sources to admit to it.

        Most scouts until now were mostly worried about getting the full medical reports, but the shutdowns provide more opportunities for unbalanced disclosure.

  5. richard dangler

    Play the games, do the draft, get back to normal. This whole thing is ridiculous.

      • El Don

        Nope he is right, bringing common sense to the madness of shutting down economies, which will never recover from the damage done to them by the governments of this world. Thankfully Sweden will prove all wrong as they haven’t lockdown.

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