It feels like the NBA Finals just ended and the league’s regular season is right around the corner. Well, that’s exactly the case in a shortened 2020 offseason thanks to the ongoing global-wide pandemic we know as the coronavirus. LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers were crowned as the champions on Oct. 11, and the NBA recently announced scheduling plans with regular season games set to get started on Dec. 22. Right around the middle of those dates is the NBA Draft, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 18 as teams like the Toronto Raptors attempt to build their rosters for the future of the franchise. The fun will get started at 8 p.m. ET. and will be held virtually as the other major sports have been doing during the pandemic.
Revised 2020-21 schedule
Before we get to Wednesday night’s festivities, let’s take a look at what fans can expect leading up to this upcoming season and beyond. It will be different than normal years once again as the NBA attempts to make up for a several month suspension of its season earlier this spring and summer. Some NBA teams had a ton of time off as early as the middle of March but for teams like the Lakers and Miami Heat, they have hardly have much of an offseason at all at this point, so it will be interesting to see how teams deal with the lack of rest especially early in the season.
The draft will be held Wednesday night, and that’s followed by the start of free agent signings two days later on Friday, Nov. 20. Training camps will get started on Dec. 1 as teams attempt to get ready for the season, which would get started roughly three weeks later. Preseason games will be held from Dec. 11-19.
As far as the season itself, the NBA’s 72-game regular season schedule will be split into two halves. The first half will start on Dec. 22 and run through March 4 with the All-Star Break held March 5-10. The second half of the season will begin on March 11 and conclude on May 16 with a play-in tournament held on May 18-21 with the NBA Playoffs starting on May 22. The NBA Finals will are set to run through July 22 with the Olympics scheduled to begin the following day.
Toronto Raptors NBA Draft preview
The Raptors will have to wait till the end of the first and second rounds unless they decide to trade up. They are set with the No. 29 pick and No. 59 pick on Wednesday night. Toronto will unlikely be able to add a player to bring it immediate success picking that late, but the Raptors are in a bit of a tricky position this offseason with plenty of decision to make and some unknowns for what this team will look like when its season starts about a month from now.
The Raptors will need to figure out if they will be with their star Fred VanVleet moving forward as he is a free agent free to sign with any team with mutual interest. This makes it difficult to nail down exactly where Toronto should be leaning heading into draft night.
Not only will the Raptors need to fill out their roster, they still don’t exactly know where their games will be played. It is appears likely Toronto will play its home games in Tampa Bay, but that is not confirmed.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are on the clock with the first overall pick, followed by the Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers to round out the top five. Former Georgia shooting guard Anthony Edwards is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick according to oddsmakers.
NBA Draft betting odds
The NBA Draft provides sports bettors an opportunity to choose from a variety of betting options to make some money on the event or as a way to entertain themselves as they take in draft night.
Below are some of the most popular wagers for bettors to place their money. All odds are via a popular United States sportsbook.
First overall pick
- Anthony Edwards -250
- LaMelo Ball +178
- James Wiseman +900
- Obi Toppin +10000
- Deni Avdija +20000
Number of freshman drafted in the top 10
- Over 4.5 (-125)
- Under 4.5 (+103)
Number of international players drafted in the top 10
- Over 3.5 (+400)
- Under 3.5 (-560)
Number of players drafted in the first round from the Big Ten Conference
- Over 1.5 (+145)
- Under 1.5 (-180)
Number of players drafted in the first round from the Big 12 Conference
- Over 2.5 (+180)
- Under 2.5 (-225)
Number of players drafted in the first round from the Pac-12 Conference
- Over 5.5 (-106)
- Under 5.5 (-115)
Number of players drafted in the first round from the ACC
- Over 5.5 (+690)
- Under 5.5 (-1250)
Number of players drafted in the first round from the SEC
- Over 5.5 (-141)
- Under 5.5 (+116)