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NBA postpones draft lottery and combine because of pandemic

The league said it would continue to assess the situation and consult with health experts and government officials.
NBA Suspends Season After Player Tests Positive For Coronavirus
An NBA logo is shown at the 5th Avenue NBA store on March 12, 2020 in New York.Jeenah Moon / Getty Images file

The NBA will postpone its draft lottery and combine because of the coronavirus pandemic, the league said Friday. No new dates were set for the events.

The league said it would continues to assess the situation and consult with health experts and government officials.

Both events were scheduled to take place in Chicago with the draft lottery on May 19 and the draft combine running from May 21-24.

The 2020 NBA draft is scheduled for June 25 but that may be pushed back as well.

The NBA was the first professional sports league in the U.S. to suspend its season in mid-March after a player for the Utah Jazz preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Shortly after the NBA did so, nearly every major sports league followed suit, including Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer.

Initially leagues said the suspensions would last for a couple weeks but as the dates for restarting continue to be pushed, most have stopped setting specific dates for a return. In the interim, events continue to be postponed.

The NBA playoffs were set to start in mid-April. At the time of the suspension, most teams had fewer than 20 games left in their regular season.

The lottery is comprised of the 14 teams that don't make the 2020 postseason. It determines the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the draft.

It's unclear if the NBA would opt for a virtual combine, lottery or even draft.

The NFL, which was set to have its draft in Las Vegas in late April, proved a virtual draft can be successful and get high ratings amid a dearth of live sports content.