The lead up to the NBA Draft is always surrounded by calculated intel gathering and well-planned misdirections. In the re-tooled setup for the 2020 NBA Draft, those two normal features have become complicated. In a report from ESPN, Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz highlighted that several teams have reservations about participating in the process that the NBA has put together.
Earlier in the week, the NBA announced that they are relaxing the in-person evaluation rules for the upcoming draft. If teams follow the protocols outlined by the league, up to three members of a team can conduct in-person evaluations with 10 prospects prior to draft night. Regardless of that new set of rules, teams still have doubts about the process.
The ESPN report touched on four of the leading concerns held by teams.
The protocols put in place are viewed by some teams as not worth the hassle for a one-on-zero workout setting that could be uninformative or even misleading.
Teams are concerned about the possibility of an executive contracting COVID and being forced to quarantine on draft night.
Many NBA teams are based in cities or states that require mandatory quarantine of up to two weeks for travelers.
Some teams are strongly opposed to the idea of sharing the names of the 10 players they are most interested in scouting with the NBA league office, for privacy and competitive reasons.
The ESPN story went on to explain that teams are likely to come around on the process once they realize that they are missing out on an opportunity to gather information.
Teams picking in the top five are expected to most actively arrange these meetings and workouts. Franchises drafting lower than that appear to be taking more of a wait-and-see approach. But my gut says that once these workouts get going, FOMO will kick in and cause teams to elect to have some type of presence where possible.
The Blazers currently own the No. 16 pick in the first round. You can read the full story from Givony and Schmitz at ESPN+ (subscription required).