In early June, word broke that the NBA settled on key dates for the 2020 NBA Draft, with the main event scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15. Shortly thereafter, the NBA formally announced the Oct. 15 date as part of its return-to-play plan but, on Saturday morning, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that fans of lottery-bound teams like the Atlanta Hawks will have to wait one more day for the festivities.
Source: NBA Draft will be on October 16, with early entry deadline on August 17.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 20, 2020
In the grand scheme, the impact of this move is minimal, but it is interesting. For one, the league’s Orlando plan reportedly outlines Oct. 12 as the last possible date — representing Game 7 of the 2020 NBA Finals — and this timeline remains tight when considering that window. It is 24 extra hours for teams that make deep playoff runs, though, and it is also an example of the league experimenting with a Friday night draft, which certainly deviates from the past.
As part of the news barrage, Wojnarowski also reports that the early entry withdrawal date for the 2020 draft is set for Oct. 6, which is just ten days prior to the draft itself. From there, he outlines the timeline for free agency, which was already reportedly set for Oct. 18, but now firming up in terms of specifics.
Free agency negotiations will start at 6 PM on October 18, per sources. (Not a minute sooner, or that would be tampering, of course) https://t.co/gFsfDA0BGf— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 20, 2020
The Hawks, along with the rest of the NBA, can also reportedly circle June 23-30 as a one-week window for transactions.
Teams can conduct rest of season contracts, substitute players ($183,115 minimum for two years of service), two-way contracts, and waivers during the window. https://t.co/bA9q7J4Axc— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 20, 2020
The concept has been discussed previously in NBA circles but, while the Hawks are not heading to Orlando, Atlanta could have incentive to be active during this window. At present, the team does not have an open roster spot but, with the circumstances surrounding Vince Carter’s pending retirement, one example of Atlanta’s potential activity could be waiving Carter and using that flexibility to pursue a team-friendly deal for an available young player.
Overall, there are no bombshells here, especially when accounting for only (very) minor changes in the widely reported NBA calendar. Still, it is important for teams to be able to plan and, provided these dates hold, further details are now in place.