Just when we thought we had our arms around a framework for the NBA offseason, the league appears to be shuffling the decks again.
The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Tuesday that the NBA is moving the date of the draft lottery to Aug. 20, after it was previously reported the ping pong balls would bounce on Aug. 25. The draft itself, though, will remain on Oct. 16, according to Charania:
Sources: NBA teams have been informed of new calendar date:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 21, 2020
2020 Draft lottery: Aug. 20 — up from previous Aug. 25.
2020 Draft remains Oct. 16.
No word on what's behind the change, but reset your calendar alerts all the same, Bulls fans. The Bulls, locked into the seventh-best lottery odds, own a 7.5 percent chance of nabbing the No. 1 pick, and 32.5 percent odds of vaulting into the top four.
Slots No. 9 through 14 in the lottery order will be finalized after the seeding phase of the NBA restart with the six teams that fall short of the playoffs, ordered by their records when the league paused play on March 11.
While this draft doesn't hold the same intrigue as the 2019 group, which was headlined by Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, new executive vice president Arturas Karnisovas has pushed back on the notion that this year's is a weak class.
"I disagree with some of the opinions out there that this is going to be, in terms of quality of the draft," Karnisovas said in his end-of-season conference call with reporters on June 6. "I think it's going to be a pretty good draft and we're going to get a good player.
"I think we are ahead of our evaluation time, we've had numerous interviews with players, and we've had so much video work done and conversations about certain players. So we're ahead of the curve right now and we have a lot of time to do even more. So I'm looking forward to that. It’s exciting."
Indeed, excluded from the NBA's Disney World bubble, the Bulls have nothing but time to mull their draft strategy. Whichever direction Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley turn will be a tangible peek into the new regime's view of the roster, and evaluation philosophy.
REPORT: 2020 NBA Mock Draft 6.0