The league announced the decision to delay both the Draft and free agency, in advance of the NBA’s restart in Orlando, to mid-October.
Given the league’s timeline, that came as no surprise, with the Draft Lottery happening in late August as the newly proclaimed plan outlined. In the subsequent weeks, though, reverberations emerged that the league was exploring a further delay to its major offseason events, quoting the potential for salary cap indecision and an unknown forecast for when the 2020-21 season might begin.
Formal reporting emerged to that end on Tuesday, with Shams Charania of The Athletic bringing word that the NBA and the NBPA are now in agreement to push back the previously announced dates to an unspecified time.
This is simply the first of many steps in what could be a drawn out process. The 2020 NBA Finals aren’t scheduled to be completed until mid-October and, from there, the league and the Player’s Association must negotiate the parameters for next season, fully acknowledging a drop in revenue and very little uncertainty moving forward. As such, additional time may be needed, and both players and teams (as well as agents) would undoubtedly love to know what the 2020-21 salary cap looks like before the Draft and free agency.
Charania did note, however, that the current plan is for the Draft to still take place some time in October.
2020 is providing seemingly endless curve balls, both in the sports world and beyond, and this is simply the latest development for the NBA. For teams making deep playoff runs, a bit of extra time may not feel terribly out of the ordinary, but for the “Delete Eight” franchises that have not participated in game action since March, this reported agreement represents yet another delay and even more uncertainty to navigate.