Report: As expected, NBA to push back 2020 NBA Draft, free agency

Sarah Stier/Getty Images
0 Comments

The original plan: The 2020 NBA Draft takes place on Oct. 16, free agency would open two days later on Oct. 18, and the regular season would open Dec. 1.

Even Adam Silver admits that timeline was not happening, and while nothing was official, things were going to get pushed back.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that a memo sent by the players’ union to agents on Tuesday said the draft and start of free agency are getting pushed back, but no date is yet set.

Much like playing in the bubble, this is all about the money.

The league and players union need to set the NBA salary cap and luxury-tax line before the offseason can truly begin (teams expect that number to be even with this season, an artificial number that will be smoothed over time). Those cap/tax numbers are based on league-wide revenue, and good luck nailing down (and projecting future) revenue during the coronavirus pandemic. A lot hinges on the development and distribution of a workable vaccine, which would help get fans back in buildings (40% of NBA revenue, according to Silver), but not even the experts can agree on when that will happen.

The other question that ties into the draft and free agency: When does next season start? The Tokyo Olympics next July complicate starting later.

Like everything else around the coronavirus, there are no easy answers. It should not be a surprise that Silver and the union — as they did with the restart and the bubble in Orlando — are going to be patient and take their time.