Players, coaches, arena workers, and many others are stuck in a scary situation due to this extended NBA absence/suspension. And while every action taken by Commissioner Adam Silver and the league has been an obviously necessary precaution, you can expect existing issues to be exacerbated, while new, unexpected problems pop up.
For example, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Adrian Wojnarowski reminded us earlier today of one major event that the league we’ll soon have to address: The 2020 NBA Draft.
Set for June 25th, it feels almost impossible that the league will be able to run a traditional combine, let alone allow individual pre-draft workouts. The NBA has already started to notify potential draft prospects that information regarding possible changes to the pre-draft process will be provided at a future date, per Givony.
Meanwhile, Wojnarowski put in perspective just how bizarre this whole situation could turn out to be.
Players may have to make decisions on entering 2020 NBA Draft with reality that there could be no opportunity to audition for teams individually, or attend a combine. The unknown certainly extends to college underclassmen. https://t.co/yQ3b3q3Vof
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 17, 2020
An already questionable draft class just became that much more confusing.
Players have lost any real opportunity to boost their stock and differentiate themselves from the pack. Not only does this stink for the players, themselves, but it puts each team in a very uncertain place, as well.
Organizations strongly rely on these pre-draft workouts and combine results to better understand which players best fit within their current (or future) vision. Obviously, their in-season play in college/high school (or overseas) will play a significant role, but these additional evaluation processes can help everyone involved get a better understanding of the best possible move.
I’m sure college players across the board – be it those on the edge of entering the draft (or even those who wouldn’t have otherwise thought twice) – will strongly re-consider returning to their respective universities for more certainty in the future. Heck, being deprived of any kind of NCAA Tournament run might be reason enough to stick around for some of these players.
Overall, this puts players and teams alike in a very complicated position. These pre-draft processes, along with college postseason play, are normally key factors in determining draft stock. As things stand, it’s very possible everyone will have to go into the 2020 NBA Draft semi-blind.
And for that reason, it becomes even more important that teams like the Chicago Bulls figure out what the future holds as soon as possible. I know it might be under unfortunate circumstances, but the Reinsdorfs have been given extended time to figure out what structure this rumored new-look front office will take. The sooner the Bulls can figure that out, the sooner they can work on evaluating what this roster will look like in the seasons to come.