Reacting to the Atlanta Hawks’ new target off-season dates.
The NBA has approved the 22-team restart of the season in Orlando, with plans to have the season begin on July 31st and have the final possible game wrap on October 12th. Yesterday, I wrote about whether or not it was fair to leave eight teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, out of the revival, but only one team (Portland) voted against the format, per Shams Charania.
Other news came to light, however, which does involve the Hawks. The Draft Lottery will take place in late August on the 25th, and the draft itself will happen on October 15th. With the teams surrounding the Hawks at the bottom of the standings also eliminated, Atlanta is officially locked into the fourth-best Lottery odds.
That gives the Hawks just over four months to prep for the 2020 NBA Draft, and being able to put all their time and resources into scouting is probably the only bright side to missing out on the playoffs.
As for free agency, which usually opens up July 1st, nothing has been announced yet. In normal years, July 1st comes just a week or so after the draft, so the market will likely open in late October.
All this would take place during a slightly-shortened off-season, with multiple reports indicating that the league would want to kick-off next season on Christmas. Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin pitched a permanent move to December a few months before COVID-19 put a halt in the season, and his dream may become a reality if the NBA never moves back to an October kickoff.
In short, the Atlanta Hawks’ season is over after just 67 games, and they can now start preparing for the draft. I suspect further news to come out soon on whether or not the Hawks can hold training camp or if there will be Summer League.
Update: Shams Charania of The Athletic posted more key dates on Twitter, which answer most of the questions above.
For now, keep it here for Draft profiles and free agency discussions.