Breaking: NBA has set 2020 draft lottery and draft date; league approves 22-team format

Adam Silver NBA Commissioner
Photo: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The NBA has rescheduled the 2020 draft lottery for Aug. 25 and the draft for Oct. 15, sources have told Adrian Wojnarowski.

The two events had originally been scheduled to take place on May 19 and June 25 respectively.

The 2020 draft lottery will be made up of the eight teams not qualified for the NBA’s return in Orlando and the six teams that don’t make the playoffs.

The 14 lottery teams’ seeds and odds will be based on their records through March 11, the day the season was originally postponed.

For example, if the Portland Trail Blazers go 2-6 when play resumes and the Phoenix Suns go 6-2, passing them in the standings, the Suns will still have better lottery odds if neither team makes the playoffs.

The rest of the draft order will be based on the 16 playoff teams’ combined records from regular season games and “seeding games,” which is what the league is calling the final eight regular season games being played.

22-team return-to-play

The NBA’s Board of Governors have also approved the 22-team return-to-play format in Orlando.

The vote needed 23 out of 30 team owners and was a 29-1 vote, Wojnarowski added.

The only team that voted against the format was the Trail Blazers, according to Shams Charania.

The Trail Blazers are eager to resume the season, but chose to vote “no” because the franchise believed there were more competitive and innovative formats on the table, sources told Wojnarowski.

Their vote also reflected the franchise’s feedback from its players.

The plan will have 22 teams return to action on July 31, beginning with an eight-game regular season before play-in games for the last playoff spots in each conference.

The postseason would follow and end no later than Oct. 12 if the NBA Finals went the full seven games.

If this happened, it would be a quick turnaround to the draft on Oct. 15.

The NBA informed the Board of Governors of important scheduled dates:

  • Training camp: June 30, teams will travel to Orlando on July 7
  • 2019-2020 season: July 31
  • Free agency: Oct. 18
  • 2020-2021 targets: Nov. 10 training camp, Dec. 1 opening night (can remain fluid)

The NBPA’s team player representatives have a conference call set for June 5 to approve the league’s 22-team plan on restarting the season, Wojnarowski noted.

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