Adam Silver said May would be the start of the major decisions the NBA has to make about the current season and upcoming offseason calendar. That process began on Friday, as the league announced that the NBA Draft Lottery and NBA Draft Combine have both been postponed indefinitely. The two events were both scheduled to take place in Chicago later this month.
In a media release, the NBA said more information on each event will be shared at a later date as the league continues to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic and consult with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government officials.
So what exactly can we take away from this expected delay from a big-picture perspective? A few takeaways on the potential impact on this coming offseason, NCAA prospects and how the Celtics could be affected.
1. The NBA is still hoping to play more regular-season games before a potential postseason begins: This scenario may not be possible depending on how long it takes for the league to be cleared by health officials for a return, combined with the ramp-up time that will be needed for players to get back into shape. However, a potential rationale for holding the draft lottery as scheduled (or with a slight delay) would be the realization that the NBA regular season is likely over (i.e. freezing the current standings in place so proper lottery odds could be distributed among non-playoff teams). Moving the lottery back is a clear signal that ending the regular season outright is a last resort option for the league. While the NBA Draft has not been officially postponed yet (scheduled for June) that’s all but a certainty now, as well with no league play even possible at this point before July. The NBA Draft in all likelihood will land in August or September (whenever any regular season is expected to conclude). The draft technically could happen in the midst of the postseason since the draft order is based on the regular-season standings, but it's highly likely any playoff teams would object to having to pick huge parts of their future before knowing the final performance of their current roster.
2. The NCAA is going to have to re-adjust some rules involving early-entry candidates: Currently, the NCAA allows players to withdrawal from the NBA Draft pool up to 10 days after the draft