NBA Postpones Draft Lottery, Combine Indefinitely

3:41pm: As expected, the NBA has indefinitely postponed the lottery and combine, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

11:21am: Now that the calendar has turned to May, the NBA will have to start making some decisions about its own calendar, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, who points to the May 19 draft lottery and subsequent draft combine as upcoming events that will need to be addressed. Both the lottery and combine are expected to be officially postponed soon, tweets Stein.

[RELATED: Tentative 2020 NBA Draft Dates, Deadlines]

As Stein explains (via Twitter), as long as there’s still hope that the resumption of the 2019/20 season is possible, it doesn’t make sense for the NBA to move forward with its full pre-draft process. The lottery, in particular, is tied to the final regular-season standings, so if there’s still a chance that those standings could change, the lottery will have to wait.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic, who wrote earlier this week about the possibility of the lottery being delayed, heard from one executive that front offices would likely want at least three weeks or so between the lottery and the draft to give teams time to adjust to their exact placement.

[RELATED: What 2020 Lottery Odds Would Look Like If Season Doesn’t Resume]

Currently, the draft is scheduled for June 25, but it will certainly be postponed too if the season can be resumed, since the NBA will want the draft to take place in the offseason. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer wrote this week that league sources expect it to be pushed back to August or September — the exact date will hinge in large part on if and when the season can be completed.

As for the combine, even with a two- or three-month delay, it’s hard to imagine it taking place as it normally would. While the NBA could formally postpone it for now, the event may have to eventually be canceled. Still, I’d imagine the league office is exploring virtual alternatives to the usual format, with teams likely pushing the NBA for a way to access prospects’ medical information that would typically be collected at the combine.

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