NBA news: Teams hoping league can push NBA Draft ’til August as moratorium extended
Teams around the league are hoping the NBA can push the draft until no sooner than Aug. 1, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony. The NBA Draft had been scheduled to take place on June 25, but recent events might push the resumption of the regular season to June or July, optimistically.
The league also recently agreed to extend the moratorium on transactions like agreements, trades, player and team options indefinitely after discussions with the National Basketball Players Association.
Executives across the league believe that shifting the draft date would give organizations more time to do their due diligence in terms of the pre-draft process. That could open the possibility for in-person workouts, interviews and medical evaluations of prospects, which can’t take place due to the current social distancing and shelter-in-place measures.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has a timeline of May 1 as the earliest to make decisions on what to do with the remainder of the 2019-20 season. Options like a play-in tournament, a shrunken regular season, and potential cancelation have been explored in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
An Aug. 1 date would allow some flexibility whether the league chooses to resume with the regular season through the summer or cancel altogether.
Realistically, most would envision a September date for the NBA Draft if the season continues, pushing free-agency past the potential Labor Day weekend end in sight.
As it is, teams are banned from conducting in-person interviews with draft prospects but can conduct virtual interviews so long as they remain within a four-hour limit for any single player.
Teams also can’t request any video of recent workouts outside of a team environment, according to a recent memo — which renders them to only use game film from college and practice sessions.