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Report: NBA issues pre-draft guidelines for teams amid COVID-19 pandemic

Report: NBA issues pre-draft guidelines for teams amid COVID-19 pandemic

The status of the NBA draft is one of the more complicated issues facing the league during its hiatus.

While no official change has yet been made to the draft's scheduled June 25 date, questions swirl as it relates to how the pre-draft process will play out. Will teams have the ability to meet with potential prospects? Have a combine — virtual or otherwise? Observe live workouts in any format? All of that as issues relating to the league's salary cap structure, ticket and television revenue, and player compensation (among myriad others) hang over the conversation of resuming play.

But some clarity might be coming on the draft front. On Monday, the league circulated guidelines for the pre-draft process during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. In those guidelines, the following mandates were laid out:

Teams will reportedly receive a four-hour allotment of virtual meeting time per prospect, with the stipulation that teams cannot use more than two of said hours in a given week. However, teams will be prohibited from requesting in-person workouts or live video — all per Charania. 

A moratorium on in-person workouts in the wake of a global health crisis was to be expected. Interesting is the league disallowing prospects to virtually work out for teams. That further serves to emphasize the impact this altered and abbreviated pre-draft process will put on organizations — without the ability to cram in evaluations based on in-persons workouts, unprepared teams will surely be at a disadvantage compared to those that have done their homework all year. 

Still, the question of if or when the 2019-20 season might resume and conclude looms over all. If the NBA was somehow able to return in June or later in the summer, would the league really hold the draft mid-season, or during the hiatus? Declarations from top prospects have begun to trickle out, but it remains to be seen if the league will budge on its Early Entry Eligibility Deadline of April 26 with so much uncertain.

For now, it appears uncertainty will continue to reign.

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Adam Silver: Michael Jordan ‘clearly the most respected voice’ in NBA meetings

Adam Silver: Michael Jordan ‘clearly the most respected voice’ in NBA meetings

The NBA’s resumption bid in Orlando, Fla. kicking off July 31 will involve 22 teams. All 22 will finish out their respective regular season slates with eight games each, followed by potential play-in series for each conference’s eighth seed, followed by a traditional (or as traditional as is possible) 16-team playoff.

That plan came after months of deliberation between commissioner Adam Silver and a litany of voices across the league. And in those deliberations a number of creative solutions were discussed — from a World Cup-style group stage first round to a 30-team play-in tournament.

The compulsion to face an unprecedented situation with unprecedented ideas is an understandable one. And the resolution of the NBA’s 2019-20 season will be without historical comparison. 

But Silver said in an appearance on Inside the NBA on TNT Thursday night that Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Hornets, was one of the swing voices that pushed the league to pursue a traditional postseason format after the 16 playoff teams were established. Jordan’s voice evidently carries a lot of weight in such discussions.

“This was a point made by Michael Jordan — whose team, the Charlotte Hornets are not one of the 22 teams, but he’s clearly the most respected voice in the room when it comes to basketball — he felt it was very important that after we established the 16 teams we not be gimmicky,” Silver said. “Because there were a lot of proposals on the table to do unique tournaments and pool play like you see in international competition. And we took many of those proposals very seriously. 

“Ultimately, I agreed with Michael that there's so much chaos in the world right now, even before the racial unrest we’re experiencing now, let’s come as close to normal as we can. And as close to normal as we can is top eight in the West, top eight in the East playing four rounds of seven games. So that’s what we intend to do and our goal is to crown a champion.

And so, here we are. Even with many questions still to be answered, the NBA is on a fast track to returning.

RELATED: Explaining the NBA's plan to resume the 2019-20 season

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Bulls Talk Podcast: The NBA season is set to return during a trying time

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USA Today

Bulls Talk Podcast: The NBA season is set to return during a trying time

The NBA season is set to restart and return with 22 teams continuing their seasons for a chance at a playoff spot and a championship. Even though the league has set a schedule the current state of the country is still in flux due to the murder of George Floyd. Host Jason Goff is joined by Rob Schaefer, Tony Gill, Kevin Anderson, and KC Johnson to discuss social justice and police brutality in America, the NBA restarting the season, and what does it mean for the Bulls now that their season is over.

(3:00) - It's been a hard week for America

(16:06) - When sports come back, we must still remember this pain

(35:40) - This situation feels different

(42:06) - Strong concerns over the NBA picking the season back up

(53:38) - How will no fan games impact the players?

(1:05:21) - The Bulls season is officially over, what will happen with Jim Boylen

Listen here or via the embedded player below:

Bulls Talk Podcast

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