With the NBA inching closer to its official return, eyes are fixed on the 22 teams invited to participate in the season restart at Walt Disney World.
Scrimmage play begins this week and that will lead into seeding games for each of the 22 teams. That may be followed by a possible play-in tournament, and finally a standard playoff bracket.
For the eight teams not in Orlando, however, the focus has already shifted to possible offseason additions and scouting. More specifically, with the 2020 NBA Draft, which has been pushed back to the middle of October.
The NBA reportedly notified teams the Lottery, one of the offseason’s biggest events, has been moved up nearly one week to Aug. 20, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania:
Sources: NBA teams have been informed of new calendar date:
2020 Draft lottery: Aug. 20 — up from previous Aug. 25.
2020 Draft remains Oct. 16.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 21, 2020
Like with other dates the league provided to teams, the annual NBA draft remains scheduled for Oct. 16. Free agency will begin two days later, which could make for one of the most hectic stretches in league history.
The lottery has historically taken place during the conference finals, but an Aug. 20 date suggests that it will now take place sometime during the first round of the playoffs. Interestingly, teams will have much more time (20 extra days) between lottery and draft than they did one year ago.
This extra allotment might have been instituted as compensation for lost time during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
2020 NBA Draft implications for Lakers
For the Los Angeles Lakers, whenever the NBA Draft is held is relatively inconsequential.
Owners of their first-round pick this year, L.A. will be selecting around at the end of the round as a result of their conference-leading 49-14 record. Still, the franchise does have a habit of making quality picks late in the draft.
In 2015, the Lakers snagged Larry Nance Jr. with the 27th overall selection. One year later, they picked up Ivica Zubac in the second round. Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka was with the franchise when both Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart were taken at the end of round one in his first draft.
The Lakers will have to answer many questions about the future of the roster. Anthony Davis declined a four-year, $146 million contract extension in January, and can now decline a player option later this year and reach free agency.
The Lakers also have various players on expiring contracts, including Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo. Much of the offseason will depend on how the NBA salary cap shakes out following a shortened season.
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