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Woj: NBA Teams Hope League Pushes Draft Back After August 1 Amid Coronavirus

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2020

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 20: A general view of the stage and draft board at the end of the first round during the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Multiple NBA teams are reportedly hopeful that the 2020 NBA draft will be pushed back from the scheduled June 25 date.Β 

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, "many NBA teams are united" in their belief that the draft should take place no earlier than Aug. 1 because of the difficulties involved with gathering information on prospects during the coronavirus pandemic.

The draft date could also be impacted by the 2019-20 NBA season, which was suspended in March. It is currently unclear when or if the season will resume.

While the NFL draft is going forward as scheduled from April 23-25, it is no longer taking place in front of fans in Las Vegas, and will instead see all 32 general managers draft virtually from their homes.

The NBA draft may have to occur in a similar manner, but there are several factors that could prevent it from happening on the scheduled date.

While NFL teams had the benefit of the NFL Scouting Combine and some pro days happening before the COVID-19 pandemic essentially shut much of the country down, the NBA combine has not happened and teams were unable to meet with any prospects in person.

NBA talent evaluators can study game tape and perhaps meet virtually with prospects, but seeing them work out and acquiring medical information will be highly difficult.

Prospects have only recently begun declaring for the 2020 NBA draft, and there is no way for NBA teams to replicate anything that even closely resembles the normal pre-draft process.

Hoping that things can return to normalcy before Aug. 1 may be a stretch as well, so it is possible that teams will be forced to enter the draft with far less concrete information than usual even if the NBA decides to push it back a significant amount of time.

Also, if the 2020-21 NBA regular season manages to start on time in October, pushing the draft back could create issues in terms of rookies being prepared for the season.

It is likely that the NBA's decision on when free agency starts will have a major impact on the draft date as well.

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