By Peter Brennan
The NBA hasn’t even re-started its 2019-20 season yet, but it has made plans for the future:
It will hold its draft Oct. 16 with free agency to open two days following it, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting.
The dates were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the delay of the 2019-20 season conclusion.
The early entry withdrawal date will be Oct. 6 for college prospects who decide they don’t want to enter the draft. The college basketball season typically begins the first week of November. The NCAA has pushed back its deadline for student-athletes to withdraw from the draft and retain eligibility from June 3 to Aug. 3.
Teams and free agents will be allowed to start negotiations at 6 pm. on Oct. 18, per Wojnarowski.
The NBA’s Board of Governors approved commissioner Adam Silver’s plan to resume the NBA season and set a new calendar for the league’s pivotal dates earlier this month.
The draft was initially set for June 25 — next week — and then reportedly proposed for Oct. 15, three days after the final date allowed for the NBA playoffs in Disney World’s Wide World of Sports. Teams will now have at minimum 96 hours for official business between a season end and the draft.
That start of the 2020-21 season is tentatively set for Dec. 1, but as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, anything can change within days.