As the NBA continues to gather as much information as possible to see when, or if, the season can resume, another uncertainty that the league is faced with is when the 2020 NBA Draft will take place. Last week, it was reported thatdue to COVID-19, which has limited the amount of scouting teams are able to do on draftees, and it looks like that option is gaining more steam.
Teams around the league are putting pressure on the league office to move the draft back to no sooner than Aug. 1, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday. The draft is still scheduled to take place on June 25, but as many places across the country have enforced shelter in place orders, teams have not been able to adequately scout prospects.
Team executives are hoping that by delaying the draft until August, there could be a chance to do in-person workouts, interviews and medical examinations if this virus is under control by then. While holding the draft in August would benefit the teams and players, the date of when the draft could be held is predicated on if the season resumes or is canceled. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on Monday that no decisions about the continuation of the league will be made , when there is more information.
The league sent out a memo to teams on Monday outliningregarding interviews and workouts. Organizations have already been prohibited from conducting in-person interviews with draftees, and are instead allotted four hours of interview time with each player virtually. However, agents could have some influence on what teams prospects talk to. They could try and manipulate the draft by steering players away from certain teams and only talking to teams that would benefit their client.
In addition to allowing only four hours of interview time per player, teams aren’t allowed to request any workout footage that the player has done recently outside of a team environment. These new guidelines will make it incredibly difficult for teams to make informed decisions based on just virtual interviews and no in-person contact, so delaying the draft seems like a beneficial action to take for the league as a whole.