NBA Looking At Moving Draft Into July, Packaging It With Season-Ending Award Show
The NBA “remains ‘very interested’ in moving the draft after July 1 and packaging it with a season-ending awards show possibly on consecutive nights," according to sources cited by Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. The move would be part of an effort by the NBA to “create more space between" the end of the Finals and the Draft so it "can better promote” the Draft. But moving the Draft back would be “difficult because it impacts free agency and the collective bargaining agreement.” The NBA also “needs to negotiate a change in the draft date with its TV partners.” The league's TV deal with ESPN/ABC and Turner Sports expires after the ‘15-16 season. The NBA also is “concerned about delaying free agency and pushing that period even deeper into July.” The season is “already turning into a long year with the draft, free agency and summer league taking place shortly after the Finals.” The league is “not interested in major free agent transactions taking place in August when the league normally begins its down time” (USATODAY.com, 6/27).
ANALYZING THE ANALYSTS: SI’s Richard Deitsch wrote ESPN’s Jay Bilas, Rece Davis and Fran Fraschilla “were outstanding (once again)” during the net’s NBA Draft coverage last week. Davis is a “consummate professional who sets his analysts up at every turn and allows the broadcast to breathe.” Bilas “showed you his value late in the draft when you can’t fake your way through as you can with the top prospects.” Fraschilla has “developed into a super-valuable resource as an international guru.” However, Jay Williams was “badly miscast in the role of post-pick interviewer.” The panel, "especially Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, fell into the trap of praising every pick as if they were the second coming of Oscar Robertson" (SI.com, 6/29).