9:26am: The NBA has officially confirmed in a press release that the draft has been moved to November 18. That date “remains subject to change as circumstances warrant,” per the league.
This represents the second delay for the 2020 NBA draft, which had originally been scheduled for June 25. When the end of the season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the draft was pushed back to October 16.
However, the NBA and NBPA agreed to postpone the draft again to give the two sides more time after the end of the season to negotiate changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, assess the league’s revenues for the 2019/20 season, and agree to salary cap and tax figures for ’20/21, Wojnarowski writes.
The delay will help create a window for the NBA to hold some form of virtual draft combine, since May’s event was postponed indefinitely. Some in-person interviews with draft prospects between teams and prospects are also expected to be permitted starting next month. Ever since the NCAA and NBA seasons were initially shut down in March, clubs haven’t been able to scout or meet with players in person.
It remains to be seen exactly when the 2020 free agent period will begin, but it’s a safe bet that it will happen a few days after the draft.
As for the start of the 2020/21 season, that remains up in the air as well. The league has told team owners that it won’t happen before December 25, while NBPA executive director Michele Roberts recently said that she’s expecting opening night to take place sometime in 2021. The league and the players’ union are still trying to figure out what next season will look like, as they prioritize getting fans back in arenas.