In an effort to drag out the drama and create more of a television spectacle, the NBA Draft is about to become a two-night affair.
It had been rumored that the NBA was discussing the idea, but after talking with its television partners, things seem to be moving on a fast track for the 2024 NBA Draft to be a two-night event, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The draft would split into first and second rounds on successive nights — June 26-27 — but the league must still get final approval from the National Basketball Players Association before the plan can be made official, sources said.
Among a number of reasons for the expansion of the event, including the programming for television rights partners, the NBA and teams are hopeful that the hours between Wednesday night’s first round and Thursday’s second round will give teams more time to make trades and plan out strategies for the second night.
The first round of the NBA Draft would see little change, with teams having five minutes between picks to think through their decision and listen to any last-second trade offers. The pace works well on the broadcast, with time to analyze the player just selected for a minute, do an interview, then talk about the best players on the board and any potential trades.
What would change is the second round, which tends to be trade-heavy anyway, and teams would have more time to line up deals. Currently, teams have just two minutes between second-round picks, and the pace is crazy fast, with the players selected getting overlooked — Nikola Jokic was famously drafted during a Taco Bell commercial. Allowing four or five minutes between picks would make the pace of the second round feel like the first. Where it would get strange is at the end of the second round — while there are notable exceptions, few of the players selected after No. 45 ever touch an NBA court.
This is still a good change for the league. It’s also not a coincidence it happens while the league is negotiating a new broadcast television deal and is trying to create more value for those partners.