NCAA Will Work with NBA on Calendar Adjustments Around Delayed 2020 Draft

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2020

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 29:  NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt speaks to the media during media day for the 2018 Men's NCAA Final Four at the Alamodome on March 29, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said the governing body of college athletics is willing to work with the NBA on calendar adjustments if the 2020 NBA draft is delayed from June 25 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein reported the most notable date change would likely be June 3, which is the current deadline for underclassmen players to announce they're removing their name from the draft class and returning for another collegiate season.

ESPN's Jonathan Givony explained Friday that NBA executives, agents and prospects are "bracing for the potential impact of a delayed 2020 NBA draft with a heavily reduced pre-draft process."

"For instance, players would likely find it more difficult to directly affect their draft standing without the usual workouts, interviews, combine and other elements of the process," Givony wrote.

Typically, prospects who initially declare for the draft attend the combine and get invited to visit teams for individual workouts and interviews. They then use the information gathered from those meetings to decide whether to remain in the draft or return to college in an effort to better their stock for 2021.

The coronavirus has shifted the pre-draft process into the background, though.

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"The draft is the last thing on their list," an executive told Givony. "We saw it in the collective bargaining agreement negotiations in 2016. They never even got to [the draft]. Revenue drivers will come first, and then we'll see what happens with the draft after all that gets figured out. It might be a while."

In this case, that means finding a way to complete the 2019-20 regular season and then moving toward the playoffs and ultimately the 2020 NBA Finals to maximize the revenue.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver discussed the next steps forward Wednesday with ESPN's Rachel Nichols:

"What are the conditions we need for the league to restart? I would say I'm looking at three different things. One is, when can we restart and operate as we've known it with 19,000 fans in buildings? ... Option two is, should we consider restarting without fans, and what would that mean? Because, presumably, if we had a group of players, and staff around them, and you could test them and follow some sort of protocol, doctors and health officials may say it's safe to play.

"A third option that we are looking at now ... the impact on the national psyche of having no sports programming on television. And one of the things we've been talking about are, are there conditions in which a group of players could compete—maybe it's for a giant fundraiser or just the collective good of the people—where you take a subset of players and, is there a protocol where they can be tested and quarantined and isolated in some way, and they could compete against one another? Because people are stuck at home, and I think they need a diversion. They need to be entertained."

The delayed finish to the current NBA season and pushing back the draft would also impact college recruiting as coaching staffs would be unsure how many scholarships they have available.

It's unclear whether the situation could eventually lead to a delayed start to the 2020-21 collegiate campaign. The season usually begins in early November.

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