After having started about 10 months ago, the 2019-20 NBA regular season will come to the conclusion of the seeding games on Friday night. There remains the matter of a play-in tournament in the Western Conference, but when that is settled, the playoff field will be set, and the 14 lottery teams will be announced.
Once everything is set, the NBA will waste no time in moving toward next season, with the 2020 Draft Lottery planned to be held in just 10 days on Aug. 20. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, as most things are these days, the event will take place virtually.
Although it’s not clear when and how the 2020-21 season is going to start, the league still hopes to get going on Dec. 1, meaning that it has limited time to get through all the normal off-season work. The first thing to do is the draft lottery, which will let teams know where they are drafting and allow them to start drilling down on their preparation. As of now, the 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on Oct. 16, just a few days after the last possible date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
There are 11 teams we know will join the lottery. The eight that were not invited to Orlando include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls Detroit Pistons, and New York Knicks. The three teams that have been eliminated in the bubble include the New Orleans Pelicans, Washington Wizards, and Sacramento Kings. There will be three more Western Conference squads joining the tournament but it’s likely to take until the final day to know who those teams are.
All preparation will have to be done virtually only adds to the intrigue and no one knows who is going to go No. 1 but one potential option is Lonzo Ball’s younger brother, LaMelo Ball.