The Knicks – and maybe even the Nets – will have to wait until Aug. 25 to find out where they will pick in the lottery. And the Knicks won’t get to pick their new players until Oct. 15.
With the NBA voting to restart the season with a 22-team format on July 31 in Disney World, sources confirm the lottery will be set for Aug. 25 – after the eight-game-per-team regular season plays out.
The NBA Draft, originally scheduled for June 25, has been pushed back to Oct. 15 – around a few days after the potential last game of the NBA Finals.
That gives the Knicks more than four months to prepare as they seek a scoring point guard as a top priority. They currently have the sixth-best lottery odds with a nine-percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick. There’s a good chance of a downsized Draft Combine being held after the lottery.
The NBA announced the way the rest of the lottery and draft order will fall.
And that effects the Nets, too. In the new format, the Nets could conceivably fall out of the playoffs in a play-in and regain their traded first-round pick that was lottery-protected in the Allan Crabbe deal.
That could give them two first-round picks as they also have the Sixers’ pick, which right now stands at No. 20 based on March 11 standings.
The NBA stated the “14 NBA Lottery teams would be the eight teams that do not participate in the restart and six teams that participate in the restart but do not qualify for the playoff.” The NBA added they’d be seeded based on the March 11 records.
However, the rest of the draft order after the lottery will be slotted based on their records following the 8-game restart.
This is also key for the Knicks and Nets. The Knicks have a second first-round pick courtesy of the Clippers. They would select 27th if the standings were frozen but it won’t be. The Nets may not select 20th after all pending the Sixers’ August performance.
So how do the Nets descend into the lottery? The Nets are the seventh seed but could drop to No. 8 after the eight-game regular season and be forced to play No. 9 Washington in a play-in.
That’s still a longshot scenario as the Nets would probably have to go 2-6 to fall to No. 8 and have the Wizards within four games of them – as the new rules require. In addition, Washington would be required to win twice – the Nets once.