There’s certainly logistical concerns when it comes to the viability of the 2019-20 NBA season continuing in any form.
More than anything, the Association could be running out of time to continue a campaign that has been suspended over the past seven weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assuming the season is not canceled, its return date would push back the rest of the calendar year around the NBA. That includes the 2020 NBA Draft being postponed and the 2020-21 season starting later.
According to this report from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, one decision has already pretty much been made. The 2020 NBA Draft, originally slated for late June, will be pushed back to August or September.
“League sources expect the NBA to push the draft from June 25 to August or September. Front office executives and scouts will have a lot of time to prepare for what is a particularly complicated draft due to the lack of in-person workouts and interviews, and the lack of consensus about the top prospects,” the report read.
Outside of the logistical concerns that comes with the current pandemic, there’s no way to conduct the draft before the 2019-20 season has ended. Given that we’re likely at least a month away from anything even being finalized on that front, it makes sense to push back the annual draft.
As O’Connor notes, this complicates things further. While some states have started to ease stay-at-home orders, the idea of prospects traveling around the country to meet with teams is highly unlikely. It’s in this that teams themselves are behind the proverbial eight-ball.
Adding to the intrigue here is the fact that this year’s NBA Draft is wide open. Georgia guard Anthony Edwards is seen as the favorite to go No. 1 overall. Though, former Memphis center James Wiseman might have something to say about that.
At the very least, there’s no clear-cut No. 1 prospect like we saw with Zion Williamson last year.