On May 1, the NBA announced that both the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery and the 2020 NBA Draft Combine would be postponed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, many assumed that the 2020 NBA Draft, originally scheduled for June 25, would be next in terms of events to formally postpone and, in the days since, it has been an open secret in basketball circles that the draft would not take place in its original position on the calendar. From there, the league elected to proceed with a 22-team plan to restart activity in Orlando and, while the Atlanta Hawks are not going to be in action, the franchise will be keeping a close eye on the off-season calendar.
Finally, word broke on Thursday that the NBA Draft Lottery would be held on Aug. 25, with the draft set to arrive on Oct. 15.
NBA has set an August 25 Draft Lottery and October 15 Draft, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 4, 2020
This timeline comes as no surprise, as the final possible date for the 2020 NBA Finals is reportedly set for Oct. 12, leaving the draft to follow just a few days after the conclusion of the season. That roughly follows the league’s traditional calendar, even with the obvious fallout of an almost four-month delay from its original slot.
As for the lottery, Aug. 25 is still more than two months away and it will arrive during the postseason. At the very least, though, the Hawks and the rest of the league’s non-playoff teams can begin to plan along with this proposed timeline.
From there, Shams Charania of The Athletic brings word of a tentative, fluid timeline for next season, with free agency following (very) shortly after the draft.
Sources: The NBA informed the Board of Governors of scheduled dates:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 4, 2020
- Training camp: June 30, July 7 travel to Orlando
- 2019-20 season: July 31
- Free agency: Oct. 18
- 2020-21 targets: Nov. 10 training camp, Dec. 1 opening night (can remain fluid)
At present, the Hawks have the fourth-worst record in the NBA — at least by winning percentage — and that would theoretically inform the team’s odds when it comes to the lottery. For additional clarity, an official announcement from the NBA outlines the current lottery situation as follows:
The 14 NBA Lottery teams would be the eight teams that do not participate in the restart and the six teams that participate in the restart but do not qualify for the playoffs. These teams would be seeded in the lottery and assigned odds based on their records through games of March 11. The 16 playoff teams would draft in inverse order of their combined records across regular-season games and seeding games.
If Atlanta indeed enters the lottery with the fourth-best odds as one would assume, that would give the franchise a 12.5 percent chance to nab the No. 1 pick and a 48.1 percent chance to land in the top four.
Additional details will trickle out in the coming days, but the Hawks, along with the rest of the league, can now take further steps in planning their off-season schedule.