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Report: NBA Draft Lottery unlikely to happen in May

The lottery was supposed to take place on May 19, but that seems uncertain with so much pushback from teams about coronavirus.

NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum reveals the number one pick for the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery at the Hilton Chicago.  Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NBA Draft Lottery, which was set to take place on May 19, is unlikely to go on as scheduled, The Athletic reported on Wednesday. The 2020 NBA Draft is currently schedule for June 25, though that date will likely need to change. Right now, the League is planning on re-opening practice facilities to certain teams on May 8, but we don’t know how many teams will actually have players go in or keep them at home.

The Athletic’s report also states that owners want a three-week window between the lottery and draft to assess their situation and plan accordingly. So whenever the lottery takes place, the draft would need to follow suit in a month or so. If the NBA decides to cancel the regular season and/or playoffs, then the draft could go on as scheduled. Though, that timeline is shrinking rapidly.

The NBA has plenty of time to make these decisions, it depends how much they want to push back the League calendar. After the draft on June 25, the new League year usually flips on July 1. Free agency would open in early July and UFA and RFAs would be allowed to sign with other teams. The more the NBA waits to put a plan in place, the longer everyone will have to wait for the playoffs or lottery or draft to take place.