The NBA has indefinitely suspended the NBA Draft Lottery as well as the Draft Combine, both originally planned for May, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Draft Lottery was originally planned for May 19 to determine the draft order of the first picks of the 2020 NBA Draft. Then, Chicago was chosen to host the NBA Draft Combine from May 21-24 before the 2020 NBA Draft on June 25.
With the suspension of these events, the NBA Draft should follow next and has long been speculated. However, it is reported that the NBA Board of Governors has held off on doing that, although it’s still expected to be eventually delayed.
The season has been suspended since March 11 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The NBA has explored all avenues towards playing out the rest of the season, but the play has no planned time of return. The Draft can’t take place unless the 2019-20 NBA season has been canceled or concluded unless the NBA wants to outlaw draft day trades as teams can’t trade players during a playoff run.
If the standings remain the same, the Portland Trail Blazers would have a 2.4% chance of a top-four pick and a 0.5% chance at the first overall pick as the first team out of the postseason. It would be the first lottery pick of the franchise since selecting CJ McCollum tenth overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.
But, the Trail Blazers may not be out of the playoffs yet. The postponement of the draft lottery might give Rip City hope that the NBA still intends to play regular-season matches or have a play-in tournament to pick up the final playoff berths in each conference.
Damian Lillard has spoken about being in favor of a play-in tournament to give them a chance to play in the postseason.
The NBA plans to loosen restrictions on players’ ability to use practice facilities, depending on the location of the team and the restrictions of local governments.
Currently, the league’s looking into playing out the remainder of the season at a single site without fans.
Two rumored locations are Walt Disney World Resort and Las Vegas.