Although the NBA continues to search for ways to finish out the 2019-20 regular season, it has already been deemed a foregone conclusion that the initial timeline of the league’s key offseason dates will be pushed back significantly.
There have been a number of potential return-to-play formats being discussed as the NBA continues to determine the most viable solution amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Teams would normally be getting prepared to shift gears toward the NBA Draft and free agency period in the upcoming weeks. As the league mulls over its options to resume the season, it also is trying to figure out how this will affect the timeline for next year.
According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, teams are expecting the 2020 NBA Draft to happen in September with free agency starting soon after in October:
Some teams expect the NBA Draft to now land in September … with forecasts of free agency starting as late as Oct. 1
The draft was originally slated to be held on June 25, until the unexpected hiatus forced the NBA to take unprecedented action. Although they seem to have a timetable insight, the report indicates that nothing is set in stone at this point.
Fortunately, the NBA already has an idea of how to conduct business throughout the draft process amid the ongoing pandemic thanks to the NFL being able to conjure up a virtual draft without any notable hiccups. Of course, the events that have transpired this year could very well have a significant impact on how the landscape of free agency plays out this year.
With the league’s short-term finances in a bind, free-agent movement in 2020 will likely be limited. This could result in players holding out for another year once there is a potential return to normalcy. Either way, it remains to be seen if the NBA will be able to avoid any more significant setbacks.