In a normal season, NBA teams would be gearing up for the NBA Draft around this time of the year. Even those handful of teams remaining in the playoffs would have their front office and scouting departments doing a ton of work with events such as the NBA Draft Combine, and running private workouts.
Obviously this is no ordinary season and because of that, the NBA Draft and all surrounding events have been postponed for the time being. With no timeframe for when the season may resume, or if it will finish at all, the fate of the draft remains unknown despite college prospects making their decisions on declaring.
But amidst the uncertainty of the remainder the 2019-20 season, the league is still preparing for the draft whenever it happens. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the league has sent ballots to teams to vote on prospects for a virtual draft combine and are exploring potential dates for it to take place:
Sources: The NBA has sent teams the ballots to vote on the prospects for the 2020 Draft Combine, which has been postponed indefinitely. League office is evaluating possible dates for Combine and potential virtual version.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 11, 2020
Regardless of when this season finishes, the NBA Draft has to take place at some point before the start of next year so it makes sense for the league to start preparing for it. These circumstances make scouting and evaluating much different than in other seasons so teams and scouts will have to study even harder to make sure they’re drafting the right player.
The Draft has been huge for the Los Angeles Lakers over the past few years. Even though most of those prospects are no longer with the team, they allowed the team to acquire the big stars that had the Lakers atop the Western Conference this season.
With a first-round pick right in the range where they’ve unearthed prior gems, the Lakers could undoubtedly find another contributor this year as well. The likes of Kyle Kuzma, Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, and Ivica Zubac were all taken at the 27th overall pick or later.
There are a number of ways in which the Lakers could go in the 2020 NBA Draft. A point guard to help ease the playmaking burden off LeBron James would be ideal, as would be a center with the futures of the current bigs on the roster unknown. Not to mention a team can never have enough wing defenders and shooters. Whichever direction the Lakers go, taking advantage of what is offered in this NBA Draft Combine that is unlike any other will be of utmost importance.