While the NBA is focused on resuming play, there are other decisions that need to be ironed out that extend off the court. Most notably, when the NBA Draft and free agency take place. The draft was originally supposed to take place on June 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the league to move it back to August or September. That decision led to the postponement of the draft lottery and combine, both of which were expected to happen in May in Chicago.
Free agency was slated to begin on June 30 at 6 p.m., however, that is guaranteed to be pushed back as the league tries to figure out its calendar for the future. The unprecedented situation that the league is in is creating an opportunity for changes to the schedule, and one change that's being discussed is moving free agency ahead the draft, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey. This topic is on the table for discussion during the NBA's board of governors meeting that is expected to take place on Friday, although Pompey notes that no decision on the draft and free agency is expected to come out of it as figuring out returning to play is the more important discussion point.
The decision on the draft and free agency is expected to happen after the league determines when the NBA Finals will end, with the draft expected to take place five-to-seven days after the Finals, according to Pompey. However, that could change if the league and the National Basketball Players Association agree to move free agency ahead of the draft this year.
Moving free agency ahead of the draft has its advantages from a logistics standpoint, as teams would be able to fill out their roster using their cap space in free agency first, then address the remaining needs they may have through the draft. It would be a win-win for the players and the teams, as draftees would land with teams based on fit and need, rather than taking the best available player.
Free agency and the draft are further down the totem pole of topics the league needs to discuss, but once the remainder of the 2019-20 is figured out, which could be as soon as next week, those other events could start to fall into place.