NBA likely to use same process for annual draft lottery

The 2020 NBA Draft Lottery was originally scheduled for May 19.

The NBA isn’t expected to make any changes to the draft lottery process despite the obvious shift in the league calendar, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

The lottery was originally set for Tuesday night but was postponed last month. A new date has not yet been determined.

But no matter when it is, the league is expected to follow the same system of ping-pong balls, odds and reverse standings to determine the order of the first 14 selections.

The season was suspended March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Although some will inevitably grumble about the order being determined by an incomplete regular season, the belief among several executives asked about it is that the lottery will remain as it was scheduled to be before the pandemic,” Bontemps reported.

The Golden State Warriors (15-50) owned the league’s worst record at the hiatus — followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-46), and Minnesota Timberwolves (19-45), Atlanta Hawks (20-47) and Detroit Pistons (20-46), respectively.

There is a chance that the 2019-20 season will ultimately be canceled and the standings — and lottery odds — will remain exactly as is. But there’s also a chance a few regular-season games will be played should the NBA decide to resume the season, which commissioner Adam Silver has stated is his preference.

The draft and pre-draft combine could both be moved to late August or even September, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

The NBA draft is scheduled for June 25, though that date will also change. The league has yet to make an official announcement about a new date for the draft.

As a related aside, the league and NCAA have agreed to move the previous June 3 deadline for early-entry candidates to withdraw from the draft.

Sam Amico covers pro basketball for Sports Illustrated. Follow him @AmicoHoops.