Cory Jefferson is making his case to become the mystery player the Nets deal the 76ers in the Andre Kirilenko trade – or at least the player Brooklyn wants to send.
(hat tip: Reed Wallach of NetsDaily)
The NBA draft is scheduled for June 25. Most expect that date to change as the coronavirus pandemic causes postponements around the world.
I think everybody in the league feels it’s almost impossible to have a draft if you still have a season that’s ongoing.
You can’t have a draft while teams are still playing. You can’t have some teams able to do trades because their season’s done and then some teams unable to do trades because they’re still playing.
It doesn’t strike me as difficult to hold the draft before the season ends. Teams wouldn’t be allowed to trade current players. The restriction would apply across the board, just like the interrupted pre-draft process. That’s not ideal, but compromises must be made amid this chaos.
Importantly, holding the draft sooner could appeal to both sides of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
It’d be an opportunity to hold a revenue-producing TV event. Obviously, drafted players wouldn’t attend a mass gathering. But with sports fans starved for content, people would watch the selections. A handshake with NBA commissioner Adam Silver is only a small part of the festivities.
The National Basketball Players Association should also push for an earlier draft. Prospects want information sooner so they can prepare for their next step – whether that’s the NBA, returning to college or playing overseas. That said, the union has bigger priorities than potential future members.
So, it’s easy to see why postponing the draft has gained momentum, even if that’s not a no-brainer solution.
The NBA season isn’t returning any time soon.
So, the closest thing you’ll get to live basketball on television is a video-game tournament between NBA players. The bracket has been revealed.
— The Boardroom (@boardroom) March 31, 2020
1. Kevin Durant (Nets)
2. Trae Young (Hawks)
3. Hassan Whiteside (Trail Blazers)
4. Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
5. Devin Booker (Suns)
6. Andre Drummond (Cavaliers)
7. Zach LaVine (Bulls)
8. Montrezl Harrell (Clippers)
9. Domantas Sabonis (Pacers)
10. Deandre Ayton (Suns)
11. DeMarcus Cousins (previously Lakers)
12. Michael Porter Jr. (Nuggets)
13. Rui Hachimura (Wizards)
14. Patrick Beverley (Clippers)
15. Harrison Barnes (Kings)
16. Derrick Jones Jr. (Heat)
I have questions:
Kirk Herbstreit sent waves through college football when he predicted the upcoming season will be canceled due to coronavirus.
Now, NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy is sharing a similar assessment of the sport he covers.
He doesn’t believe the 2019-20 season will resume.
“I understand how you can start again, but what’s the plan if the next person gets sick, like another Rudy Gobert-type of situation, we’re going to play through it? We’re going to cancel it again? That to me is why I don’t see any of these things taking place.
“I have no idea how they can pull off the season, and I have no idea what’s going to happen, and I hope next season isn’t impacted.”
Van Gundy is spot-on with his warning about another sick person. Can the NBA effectively test players, coaches, referees, etc. then keep them isolated? Until a vaccine is available, that’s practically essential. A single case of coronavirus would undermine the entire operation.
Holding games in one location would reduce risk. It wouldn’t eliminate risk.
I don’t share Van Gundy’s concern about next being impacted, though.
Next season will likely be impacted. Multiple future seasons could be impacted.
That’s worth the tradeoff.
The NBA is approaching its playoffs – the most lucrative and compelling portion of the season. It’d be a mistake to throw away the postseason just to keep future regular seasons on track.
After all, haven’t we spent the last year discussing declining interest in the regular season? A shorter regular season next season would be a perfectly acceptable tradeoff in order to hold this season’s playoffs. Heck, the NBA could shorten multiple upcoming regular seasons as it phases back toward a normal calendar.
Van Gundy is right to express caution about resuming play. The NBA shouldn’t restart anytime soon. But no matter when it’s safe to hold games again, the league should finish the season. Figure out future seasons from there.
As the NBA contemplates how and when to resume its season, China – on an earlier coronavirus timeline – can serve as a model.
In a setback to the resumption of professional sports, the Chinese government issued an order Tuesday delaying the restart of the Chinese Basketball Association and other group sporting events, according to documents obtained by ESPN.
CBA teams have been informing players that they still intend to return to play and hope to have more clarity in a few weeks, sources told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
There’s probably a bigger lesson here about not blindly trusting messaging from China.
For the NBA, it’s a grim warning about the difficultly of restarting a basketball season amid an ongoing pandemic.