NBA, NCAA Postpone Early 2020 Draft Withdrawal Date from June 3 Amid Pandemic

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2020

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a news conference at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Salt Lake City. The NBA announced that Salt Lake City has been selected to host the NBA All-Star Game in 2023. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

The NCAA and NBA mutually agreed to indefinitely postpone the withdrawal deadline for early entrants to the 2020 NBA draft.

The decision was inevitable with the 2019-20 NBA season suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic. The NBA had already pushed back the lottery and combine to later dates, and the draft may not be held June 25 as scheduled. Early entrants originally had until June 3 to withdraw and maintain their college eligibility.

The NBA has publicly remained committed to finishing the 2019-20 season but is likely at least two months away from a start date. Commissioner Adam Silver told the league's Board of Governors he wants to make a decision regarding the resumption of the season in the next two to four weeks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

The league and union are in the process of assessing whether players want to move forward with the season, but momentum appears strongly in favor. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported a group of stars, highlighted by LeBron James and union president Chris Paul, met Monday and decided to support returning when it is safe.

The resumption of the NBA season would inherently push the draft back. If the season is canceled soon, it's likely the league would do its offseason activities on a near-normal schedule. The NFL did most of its draft process and the entirety of its free agency remotely, so the NBA may wind up following a similar blueprint.

However, in-person draft workouts and/or a combine could be held if the season resumes. That would allow more time for the number of cases per day to lower and perhaps ease concerns regarding in-person activities.