Potential NBA Season Cancellation Could Lead to NBA Draft Royal Rumble

(Image/AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)

With the NBA season in jeopardy, what will happen to the NBA draft process? If a team cannot be named as a champion, can a team be granted the 1st overall pick with games still to be played?

The NBA is in the midst of incredibly uncertain times, with no guarantee of the season continuing and no indication yet that it’s going to end prematurely. It’s currently a wait and see game that we all must play.

For fans of the purple and gold, the league-wide hiatus could not have come at a worse time. Superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis were in frightening form, with James staking his claim for the MVP trophy.

The Los Angeles Lakers team as a whole were beginning to fire on all cylinders and were rounding into playoff mode with a quarter of the season to go. Then COVID-19 strikes, and here we are.

For the record, the NBA and all major sports across the world made the right call in halting their respective seasons. The health and safety of players, staff, owners, arena workers, and the fans are of the utmost importance.

The NBA should be commended for the steps it took as one of the first leagues globally to postpone games and put the safety of others above making profit. With so much uncertainty around the league, fans of the association were waiting to hear about what is going to happen to the season.

We finally got some clarification in which way the league is leaning and it doesn’t look good. Brian Windhorst of ESPN dropped some Woj -evel bombs in a recent appearance on SportsCenter that has caused ripples around the basketball world.

“It’s been a bad week. I think there was optimism about progress a week ago, and some things that have happened this week have turned it south about what could happen. A big factor was what happened in China where they halted the return of their league, and one of the big reasons is because they really believed if they just tested the player’s temperature all the time then it would work, and the Chinese are finding that asymptomatic carriers are causing maybe a second wave in that country. And they have just slammed the brakes on sports.

The talks between the player’s union and the league this week — I’ve talked to both sides of this issue — and it’s clear that the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down. They don’t have to do that yet, and the way they’re negotiating they’re leaving themselves an option either way. But they are not having talks about how to restart the league. They are having financial talks about what would happen if the season shuts down, and I think there is a significant amount of pessimism right now.”

For fans of the purple and gold, this is a potential hammer-blow. For a season with so much promise and with a chance to win a Championship, losing the season with no chance of winning a ring could be a hammer-blow for the Lakers short-term aspirations, but if it ensures the health and safety of people and saves lives then it must be done.

With no clear NBA rules or regulations regarding the cancellation of an NBA season, it is up to those in power to make swift and decisive decisions. In order to put forth what is to happen for the rest of the season.

One major NBA event that could be affected majorly is the NBA lottery. With roughly around a quarter of the season left to play, can the league uphold the lottery standings as they stand today?

NBA analysts decide: LeBron and AD or Kawhi and PG?
(Image/Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

With give or take 20 games left in the season and an ability for teams in the lottery to potentially win games, general wisdom would stipulate that if no-one is crowned the NBA Champion, then no-one should be given the greatest odds of receiving the number 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

With the Golden State Warriors currently the worst team in the NBA based on record, should they be guaranteed a larger chance at the top pick?

With superstar Steph Curry back in the line-up for the Warriors before COVID-19 struck, there is a real chance that they could have won more games to finish the season and could have easily played themselves out of the worst record in the league.

So what could the NBA do with the draft lottery if the season were to end today? A fair and potentially interesting way for the league to bring some much needed entertainment to the league would be to give each and every team in the NBA the exact same chance at getting the number 1 overall pick.

With the 2020 NBA Draft set to be one of the weaker drafts in recent memory, this could be an extremely interesting way to inject some much needed life into the off-season.

If put to a vote, there is a high likelihood that each team would vote in favor of making this draft a Royal Rumble, “anyone can win it” style event. With only the teams in the top-5 worst teams potentially kicking up a stink about potentially losing their high draft pick.

It sounds like a fair solution to unfair end to a season for so many.

Each and every team with the same chance of winning the lottery. Whether they draft a franchise altering player or have an extremely valuable trade piece.

The NBA is in uncharted waters right now, with no provisions or verbiage in the Collective Bargaining Agreement in regards to what happens if a pandemic halts play. The NBA and the players association will have to decide what is going to happen going forward.

Hopefully a time comes very soon where basketball is back and the game we love is played with the health and safety of everyone involved.

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