The NBA is officially on the verge of returning as the Board of Commissioners voted to approve the league’s proposal to return on July 31 to finish out the 2019-20 regular season and head into the playoffs.
While only 22 teams will be invited to ESPN World Wide of Sports complex on the Walt Disney World grounds in Orlando, Fla., each will have an opportunity to make the postseason, which will be its normal format with a potential play-in tournament to decide the eighth seed in each conference.
What that does mean though is that the season is over for eight teams, so their focus now shifts to the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery and 2020 NBA Draft. Rumors have been circulating of when those events will take place, and it appears dates have now been set.
The NBA announced the lottery has been rescheduled for Aug. 25, with the Draft taking place Oct. 15, and the 2020-21 season likely to tip off on Dec. 1.
Additionally, since a full 82-game season won’t be played, it appears the league has decided to shift the lottery odds a bit to give other teams a better shot at earning a top three pick, according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN:
Difference in lottery odds between the first three seeds (14%) and the 4th seed (12.5%) will be 1.5 percent. The difference between the 4th seed and the 5th seed (10.5 percent) will be 2 percent, and the difference between the 5th seed and the 6th seed (9%) will be 1.5 percent.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 3, 2020
The Los Angeles Lakers have been involved in the lottery each of the last six seasons, using picks on talented players like Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.
Luckily, they do not have to worry about their lottery odds this year though as they hold the best record in the Western Conference and will be headed to Orlando to compete for an NBA championship.
While they did trade a number of future first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire Anthony Davis last summer, L.A. was able to hang onto their 2020 pick, so will have it at their disposal come October.
They have had some success with their late first-rounders as well in recent years, and their scouting department and front office will have another opportunity to find a gem this year.
The start of this offseason’s free agency hasn’t been revealed yet, but it likely will be shortly after the Oct. 15 draft.