For all that’s left unsettled and undetermined about the NBA’s plan to resume the 2019-20 season, this much we know for sure: Eight teams won’t be making the trip to Disney.
For the eight franchises at the bottom of the NBA’s standings—the Warriors, Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, and Hornets—the 2019-20 campaign is officially, and perhaps mercifully, over. What’s just begun, though, is an offseason that will be both long as hell and truly unprecedented.
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Executives will have to make roster decisions in a financial landscape subject to sweeping change as the league and its players union enter collective bargaining over how to adjust the system to account for the economic fallout of COVID-19. Talent evaluators tasked with building boards for the 2020 NBA draft will have to do so based on a smaller sample of games to study, with scant access to prospects, and without in-person workouts, predraft combines, or pro days.
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