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.