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NBA announces draft lottery rules, sets date for August

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum announces that the Phoenix Suns had won the sixth pick during the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)

The NBA has laid out dates for two key regular offseason events in concert with a plan to finish the 2019-20 season. The league said Thursday that it will hold the NBA Draft Lottery on Aug. 25 and the draft on Oct. 15.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania adds that free agency will begin Oct. 18. The NBA would begin training camp for 2020-21 on Nov. 10 with opening night landing Dec. 1, though dates looking toward next year remain more fluid.

The draft will take place just three days after the NBA’s last date to hold a potential Game 7 of the 2020 NBA Finals.

When the NBA season was suspended due to coronavirus on March 11, the Phoenix Suns were 26-39 and 10th in the lottery order with a 13.9% shot at jumping up in the top-4 and a 3% chance of landing the No. 1 overall selection.

“The 14 NBA lottery teams would be the eight teams that do not participate in the restart and the six teams that participate in the restart but do not qualify for the playoffs,” the NBA’s release said. “These teams would be seeded in the lottery and assigned odds based on their records through games of March 11.”

That means it is possible the Suns stick at 10th in the lottery if they don’t make the playoffs. They could also move up to ninth if the Eastern Conference’s Washington Wizards, who on March 11 were a spot ahead of Phoenix in the lottery order, make the playoffs.

The NBA’s board of governors on Thursday also approved a 22-team return plan that commissioner Adam Silver will propose to league owners. It passed with a 29-1 vote.

The 22-team plan allows teams within six games of the playoffs to participate in a return of the season at Disney World in Orlando. The Suns are exactly six games behind the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies with four other teams between them.

The NBA has targeted a July 31 date for action to resume.


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