The NBA has postponed its draft lottery and combine indefinitely, the league announced Friday. The lottery had been scheduled for May 19, while the combine was set for May 21-24 in Chicago.
It’s not a surprising step in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the NBA to suspend its season on March 11. The league is still reportedly evaluating options — including possibly moving the start of the 2020-21 season to December — and determining whether it will be possible to resume this season.
The NBA Draft is currently scheduled for June 25, though ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the expectation is that date will “eventually” also be pushed back.
The Sixers won’t hold a lottery position regardless of whether the season resumes. Brooklyn will own the Sixers’ first-round pick, while the Sixers would have Oklahoma City’s top-20 protected selection, which they acquired in the Markelle Fultz trade last February. Since the surprising Thunder have one of the league’s 10 best records, the Sixers would own the 22nd pick.
New Bulls GM Marc Eversley had been a leader in the Sixers’ pre-draft process in recent years, with the team hitting on Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton and Landry Shamet. Along with his departure, the Sixers will have to adjust to not being able to conduct in-person workouts with prospects until further notice. Eversley, Sixers vice president of scouting Vince Rozman and head coach Brett Brown have said in the past that they can glean valuable information from workouts at the team’s practice facility in Camden, New Jersey. Draft prospects have described those workouts as including a high volume of shots at game speed, being fast-paced and competitive.
This year, one expects the Sixers will seek outside shooting and shot creation (see Sixers-only mock draft). In addition to the Thunder’s first-rounder (if it conveys), the Sixers will have four second-round picks — Nos. 34, 36, 49 and 59.
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