From Oct. 16 through Nov. 16, the NBA will allow teams to conduct in-person meetings — including medical evaluations and workouts — with 2020 draft prospects, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Monday afternoon.
The 2020 NBA Draft Combine was originally scheduled to end Oct. 16, and Nov. 16 falls two days before the draft's currently-scheduled Nov. 18 date. Per Charania, the league is putting a cap of 10 total prospect visits on each team, and two per player.
To this point, only virtual interviews had been allowed, though prospects were afforded the opportunity to make up to 45 minute long "Pro Day" videos showcasing their skills during the combine.
There will reportedly be strict safety guidelines for these in-person visits amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including requisite coronavirus testing and a cap on the number of representatives from both sides allowed in meetings.
It's unclear whether these meetings are intended to be held in team markets or near player residences.
But two people you can be sure will be thrilled to have the opportunity to speak to prospects in person? Artūras Karnišovas and Marc Eversley. The Bulls have conducted most of their draft research to this point over Zoom and film, but face-to-face interviews will add an entirely new dimension to the evaluation process.
"I think you lose the human and the personal touch when you don’t get to bring players into your market," Eversley said during a Zoom call with reporters during the Bulls' offseason minicamp at the Advocate Center. "Whether that’s over at the Advocate Center and watching them work out on the floor or it’s interviewing them face to face, there’s a component of taking players to dinner or lunch and actually sitting with them and talking to them. I think those types of things are potentially lost when you don’t get to spend time with them face to face.
"I put a lot of value in talking to people and spending time with people. It’s great to talk over Zoom. But I really think there’s a deeper connection when you get to spend time with somebody face to face."
That jibes with the player-first mentality and focus on relationships that Karnišovas and Eversley hope to leverage into a turnaround for the Bulls. Expect them to make the most of this new predraft layer added by the league.