NBA Postpones Draft Lottery, Combine Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The NBA Draft Lottery and the NBA Combine will not take place this month. On Friday, the NBA announced both events have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NBA season was suspended on March 11 after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, and a return date has not been set. The lottery was originally scheduled for May 19, and the Combine was set for May 21-24. No makeup date has been scheduled for both events.

"The NBA today announced the postponement of NBA Draft Lottery 2020 and NBA Draft Combine 2020, both scheduled to take place later this month in Chicago," the league said in a statement. More information on each event will be shared at a later date as the NBA continues to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic and consult with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government officials."

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the NBA held off pushing back the draft during a board of governors conference call on Friday. The draft is scheduled for June 25, but sources told ESPN the league will likely postpone the draft as well, especially with the draft lottery not happening in the near future. The NBA has talked about starting up the season soon, but it has also been reported that team executives want the season to be canceled so everyone can get ready for next year. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James doesn't want that to happen.

"Saw some reports about execs and agents wanting to cancel season??? That's absolutely not true," James wrote on Twitter. "Nobody I know saying anything like that. As soon as it’s safe we would like to finish our season. I'm ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything. The Lakers are in a good position as they are ranked first in the Western Conference. However, for teams like the Golden State Warriors who have a 15-50 record, moving on to next season isn't a bad thing."

"The suspension came at an interesting time, and it really made a difference, depending on where your team stood in the standings," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said per ESPN. "So I've talked to some of my fellow coaches who are coaching teams that are right in the thick of the playoff hunt. They're trying desperately to stay in touch with their team, some of them are even doing group workouts on Zoom with their training staff, and they're trying to find hoops for their players to shoot at where they're able to do so. It's different for us because we were down to 17 games, but we were out of the playoffs. It feels like the end of the season for our team. It just does."