Is remote WNBA Draft signal of NBA Draft changes?

Could possible NBA Draft changes have big impacts on the Indiana Pacers and their selection strategy?

It’s unknown how the 2020 NBA Draft may look this year for the Indiana Pacers due to changes in the league calendar and concerns over COVID-19, but the WNBA Draft may be a signal of what is to come.

On Thursday, it was announced that the WNBA Draft would run as normally scheduled on April 17, but with a slight twist — it would be held remotely. This will allow the league calendar to move forward with some semblance of normalcy while keeping people safe and helping to flatten the coronavirus curve.

This may be a hint at what the NBA ends up doing with its own draft. Currently, the entire season’s completion is up in the air as the league is on hold until further notice. If the season progresses as normal, the draft will likely have to run months after its originally scheduled date, just one of the seismic changes that may occur for the NBA calendar as a result of novel coronavirus.

For all NBA teams, this would only add to the murky water of what to expect from the 2020 NBA Draft. Already there are massive barriers to getting in touch with draft prospects and completing in-person private/group workouts.

The NBA Draft Combine, and Draft Lottery, normally held in May in Chicago, are the initial events that seem likely to be put off, canceled, or held remotely.

The Pacers, unless they decide to trade into the first round of the NBA Draft, don’t have very much riding on this year’s draft. They gave up their first-round pick in a sign-and-trade with the Milwaukee Bucks last summer.

Still, there’s always the chance the Pacers might want to trade into the first round, and they still have decisions to make about their second-round pick.

Navigating those transactions, should the Pacers want to make them, becomes a bit more difficult when everything is remote. Luckily for teams, they have always had to call from one war room to another during the NBA Draft to get these deals done, so not much will change there.

The biggest aspect that would switch with the draft going remote is the viewing experience.

Overall, though, it’s clear that the 2020 NBA Draft may be different than any recent draft. The unknowns are growing more each week about prospects and the entire process. It might be a good year to sit out of the first round, especially since Indiana already has a solid developmental opportunity with Goga Bitadze.

Next: Potential outcomes of the hiatus and how each one impacts Pacers

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