OKC Thunder: Preparation window for NBA Draft and Free Agency is tight

OKC Thunder select 25 and 53 in 2020. 2019 NBA Draft board (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder select 25 and 53 in 2020. 2019 NBA Draft board (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

A deep playoff run by the OKC Thunder will leave tight preparation windows for the NBA Draft and Free Agency.

As the OKC Thunder and 21 teams ramp up efforts to restart and crown a champion in Orlando the league provided more insight on offseason dates.

Given the coronavirus pandemic, this season’s typical schedule has shifted dramatically but the greatest changes will be experienced in the offseason.

Although the NBA Draft typically occurs shortly after the Larry O’B is awarded this season the window is minuscule.  Should the finals run the full seven games they would finish on October 12th. However, instead of the typical window, the league functions within for the draft and free agency this season those two events will take place within four days of the Finals.

Thunder prep window for Draft, Free Agency is tight

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To put in perspective how different this season’s itinerary is lets look at the timelines last season. The Toronto Raptor won the title on June 13th, the NBA Draft occurred on June 20th, and the free agency moratorium began on June 30th with players officially eligible to sign contracts on July 6th.  That left a week between the finals and draft and a further 10 days before the moratorium began.

In contrast, this season is on steroids as the draft will happen on October 16th (four days after the NBA finals should it go the duration) and the moratorium will begin on October 18th at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, a mere two days after the draft.  Following the initial moratorium phase, free agents can legally sign contracts on October 23rd.

In terms of the restart schedule, TI’s recent article detailed the topline dates as well as the key items tied to the restart manual. Further details were offered via a series of tweets from ESPN writer Adrian Wojnarowski. The most notable update was date clarification on players and coaches allowed in the facilities at any given time (as per the tweet below).

In addition, further clarification for Draft prospects was offered. Prospects must declare by August 17th. As per Jonathan Givony of Draft Express prospects who previously applied and withdrew can reapply.

The early entry withdrawal date is ten days before the draft (October 6th) as per Woj.

Suffice to say this offseason calendar will be jam-packed. In particular, the front office personnel of teams who make deep playoff runs will need to be functioning on all cylinders.

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