Ishmail Wainright

And-Ones: NBA Calendar, Wainright, COVID-19, More

The idea of switching the order of the NBA’s draft and free agency to emulate the NFL’s offseason has been broached in recent years, but has never gained much momentum, according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, who has heard in the past that about two-thirds of the league’s teams opposed the idea.

While a league official tells Goodwill that there hasn’t been any serious discussion about a possible change recently, the concept may be gathering a bit more support. A pair of general managers who spoke to Yahoo Sports said they believe about half the league’s teams are in favor of the change now, while the other half remains resistant.

“Teams couldn’t comprehend having to do free agency and then the draft, which in their mind was overwhelming,” one GM said. “But the reality of it is that it’s the same amount of time. Change is hard for a lot of people.”

Some teams have logistical concerns about moving free agency up, since the NBA has to calculate its year-end revenues after the Finals, which in terms determines the coming year’s salary cap. The idea of pushing back Summer League deeper into the summer to make sure it still comes after the draft is also a potential stumbling block, as Goodwill notes.

“I am open to it, (although) one issue becomes the extension of the summer,” a second GM told Yahoo Sports. “I do like how football can fill free agent needs first and supplement their rosters with the draft second. … The calendar works in football’s favor.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Baylor wing Ishmail Wainright, who played for SIG Strasbourg in France in 2020/21, appeared at one point to be close to signing with Lithuania’s Zalgiris Kaunas, but now may be prioritizing an NBA opportunity, tweets Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas. According to Urbonas, Wainright previously received an offer from the Raptors and is still drawing a lot of interest from NBA teams.
  • The NBA and NBPA announced on Wednesday that there were two new confirmed positive COVID-19 tests among players during the week of April 21-28. That’s slightly down from the three coronavirus positives among players announced on April 21.
  • Paolo Uggetti of The Ringer digs into the experience of playing on a 10-day contract, exploring how the unusual circumstances of this season have made the short-term auditions even more challenging for players than in past years.