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Report: NBA ‘very interested’ in pushing the draft back into July, adding a season-ending awards show

Jun 27, 2014, 10:32 PM EDT

The busiest part of the NBA season isn’t opening night, Christmas Day, or the playoffs. It’s from the time the Finals begin in late June through the Draft, free agency and then summer league in both Orlando and Las Vegas that all doesn’t conclude until the end of July.

It’s a non-stop assault of league-wide news that at times seems like too much all at once, with not enough time in between to truly maximize the value or the coverage that the various events can generate by themselves.

For this reason and some others which are equally valid, the league is reportedly considering making some changes to its busy summertime schedule.

From Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

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, a person familiar with the league’s thinking told USA TODAY Sports.

The league would like to create more space between the end of the Finals and the draft so it can better promote the draft. The person requested anonymity because negotiations remain before both become official. …

The league is also concerned about delaying free agency and pushing that period even deeper into July. The NBA season is already turning into a long year with the draft, free agency and summer league taking place shortly after the Finals.

The only real down time for those in the league office and the journalists who cover the NBA is in August, after all of the aforementioned events have quieted down and before rosters are finalized and training camps begin to get ready to open in late September.

That’s not as much of a concern as is the idea of maximizing the exposure and potential revenue that each event could generate individually if things were a bit more spread out. All of this ties into the upcoming discussions the league will have with its television partners in advance of their contracts expiring following the 2015-16 season.

The awards show thing is fine whether it happens or it doesn’t, and really would be more of a selling point in negotiating those television deals than it would be of great interest to the league’s fans. It would, however, provide a spotlight for additional exposure, which is certainly something that every sports league looks for in order to continue to grow its appeal to the masses.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Jun 27, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    Pushing back the NBA draft makes way more sense than the NFL pushing theirs back.

    • rajbais - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      Agreed. Teams can have more evaluation time because they’re clearly not bright enough to do it in their current time frames.

  2. csbanter - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    The NBA will be making a big error. Right now the draft works the way it is. Every summer there won’t be a Summer of Lebron, or Summer of Melo. What happens when the free agent class or draft is weak like it was in 2013 ? Then what.

  3. n2thaizzo - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    Make the draft begin after Free agency. I think it would make for a better draft.

  4. chex1868 - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    Hate it

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 28, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      aw, come on man… everyone loves an award show…

      And for our first annual awards show, we’re going to give out a lifetime achievement award.

      Mr. Kobe Bryant, please step right up.

      Here is your trophy for MISSING the MOST field goal attempts in the history of the league…

      Don’t get too comfy with that trophy though Kobe as Melo misses the basket at a frightening pace and he’s only behind you because he’s younger than you…

  5. yesser12 - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    Terrible terrible idea and they must know how much people hated when the NFL did it. NBA trying to screw themselves by doing this having lame award show and the whole ads on jerseys.

    The NBA draft is perfect where it is the media still makes a million mock draft. An the teams don’t need too much extra evaluation.

  6. sumkat - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    I can see why the league would want it. More exposure, more events to put on TV and make advertising dollars, etc

    As a fan, I could live with the draft being pushed back a bit. It is pretty close to the end of the season. I wouldn’t mind a mid-july draft. Maybe even stick it in the day after the all-star game when there are no baseball games, and steal some more audience

    I would think teams would be against this. The off-season is really short as is (basically 3 months for now camp starts). I doubt they would want even less time with their rookies to get them acclimated before the season starts (also, not that it happens with the new CBA, but eventually could be an issue getting guys signed in time)

    • sumkat - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:08 AM

      Oh, I’d have 0 interest in watching an awards show

  7. zinger92 - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    So they think they need to better promote the draft? If it weren’t for the world cup it’s literally all they’d be talking about. Stupid.

  8. campcouch - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    And Mark Cuban claimed the NFL was going to implode from oversaturation.

  9. nfl4days - Jun 28, 2014 at 5:22 AM

    “Great idea!”-Roger Goodell

  10. mnsadsportsfan - Jun 28, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Enough already with the NFL and NBA dragging on their seasons.

  11. themagicfanguy - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Having it take place after free agency does make some sense, but it would still suck seeing another month or two of mock drafts.

  12. themagicfanguy - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    I agree with the guy above, NBA awards show? Dumb idea, no chance I’d watch it.

  13. ravenswhat - Jun 28, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Because that worked so well for the NFL.

  14. geejon - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Oh man can you just imagine the anxiousness in sitting there watching and wondering who will win defensive player of the year??? lmao!!! Who comes up with this stuff?

  15. shanelsweet - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    If they can promise me that I’ll see more award acceptance speeches like the one KD gave this year with his mom, then heck yes I’ll watch an awards show. Maybe Jimmy Fallon could host?

  16. TheMorningStar - Jun 28, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    How about shortening the length of the season?? Keep the 82 game schedule, but reduce the time off a bit in the early stages of the season and playoffs. No reason why the Championship Finals should be played deep in June.

  17. scoochpooch - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Every league is trying to extend their season so that ESPN can cover them all year long. The more coverage a sport gets the more I begin to hate it. Over saturation leads to the law of diminishing returns.

  18. tigerpork - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Any chance that the NBA move it’s season to April to November? Hate having no sports to watch in the summer beside baseball. Not a baseball fan or wnba fan.

    • chiadam - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      What’s a WNBA?

  19. chiadam - Jun 28, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Yes, I am interested in long distance savings. Veeeeery interested.

  20. djshnooks - Jun 29, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    Can’t compete with the NHL. Lmfao.

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