The NBA announced Friday that it had indefinitely postponed the NBA draft lottery and the NBA combine, both originally scheduled for May.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium was the first to report the news.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2019-20 NBA regular season has been suspended since 11 March. It is not clear if or when the season will resume.
Since the final rankings for the 2019-2020 season have yet to be determined, the lottery cannot be organized. Furthermore, with the teams still focused on the end of the season, the combination project is not currently a priority.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the league made the decision to postpone events during a conference call from the Board of Governors. He noted that while the NBA project is still set for June 25, sources predict that it will eventually be rejected.
Wojnarowski also reported that the possibility of returning to the start of the regular 2020-21 season from October to December has been discussed as it could give the NBA a better chance of having games in front of fans.
The NBA is starting to take steps to potentially find a way to end the 2019-2020 season. The most notable is the opening of team structures in some cities and states starting May 8.
While initially only a limited number of players will be allowed, engaging players in team structures is the first step in what could be a lengthy process of preparing players for a return to action.
The fate of the lottery at the draft, the draft combine and the draft itself undoubtedly strongly depend on the state of the 2019-2020 season.
The combine, which was scheduled for May 21-24, may not be possible due to the restrictions in place following COVID-19.
It’s possible that all NBA prospects need to do their training and interviews virtually, which could have a significant impact on the draft when it happens.