2020 NBA Draft date set along with early entry and withdrawal deadlines, per report

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The date for the 2020 NBA Draft has been a moving target as the league pushes to restart its season amid the pandemic, but it appears the timeline is now tentatively set. The draft — initially expected to be rescheduled for Oct. 15 — is now set for Oct. 16, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, pushing the event to a Friday night and away from a potential conflict with Thursday Night Football.

The league’s decision comes just a few days ahead of when the original date of the draft was scheduled (June 25), though it was expected to be pushed back to accommodate the season’s planned July 31 restart. The NBA Draft Lottery is set for Aug. 25.

As laid out by Wojnarowski, the timeline also includes an early entry deadline of Aug. 17, NBA free agency opening on Oct. 18 and an early entry withdrawal deadline of Oct. 6. The early entry deadline previously passed but it has been renewed for mid-August, opening up the potential for underclassmen to reconsider their options ahead of the 2020 college season.

It remains unclear when prospects can begin to work out and interview with prospective teams in person, as that process has been effectively paused amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the hard dates should give the NBA more time to plan for how that can be made possible. It’s also unclear on when, or if, there will be an NBA Draft Combine, though typically that’s sandwiched between the draft lottery and the withdrawal deadline. 

The final lottery odds will be set at a later date but the eight teams whose season has already ended have already captured their spot in line atop the lottery pecking order. The six remaining lottery slots will be decided by the teams who participate in the season’s restart but do not make the playoffs. The 16 playoff teams will draft in inverse order of their combined records across regular season and seeding games.

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