Nothing is the same again in 2020, and that includes the NBA Draft – it will be virtual and take place on November 18.
In-person training for the draft is also different: players will choose a city and do individual training there, and teams can send a scout / general manager to that city to watch the training and do an individual interview (although the maintenance is not guaranteed). Teams can’t see the player in individual training on their terms, it’s more of a pro-day style. Not all teams are disappointed, Marc Berman reports to the New York Post.
Some teams decide not to participate in relaxing draft preparation guidelines that will allow scouts to fly to a designated city with other clubs and watch Pro Day-style live practice. Usually these Pro Days offer meaningless 1 on 0 exercises …
Some teams believe the risk of COVID-19 outweighs the reward. New York has protocols that require two-week quarantines after many states return. An executive at a club who won’t be attending told The Post that the best information was regarding a prospect in college training. “Doing your own homework and checking your background is more important,” the executive said.
What the teams want is less training and more maintenance, the chance to get a feel for the player. It can be done through Zoom, but as we all found out during the pandemic, these online interviews don’t give you the same sense of a person you meet in person.
The league’s front offices have spent the pandemic doing a lot of NBA draft preparation – watching game and practice videos, calling coaches and associates, and doing their background research. It didn’t always help in a draft with no clear No.1 pick and broad opinions on other players, but Teas got the job done.
Missing out on in-person practice at this point isn’t that big of a deal, but those practices might add a piece of the puzzle for some players.
More news on the 2020 NBA Draft
Some teams opted to skip live player practices ahead of the NBA Draft that originally appeared on NBCSports.com