The NFL Draft was held remotely on Thursday evening. What would a digital draft look like for the NBA, and specifically for the Sacramento Kings?
The first round of the NFL Draft took place on Thursday night in the first remote draft in the history of the league. Picks were announced from basements, players put the hat on from their couches, and ESPN’s analysts had to wait for delays to speak to one another. While there were no glaring technical glitches, the NBA, and particularly the Sacramento Kings, had better hope that the 2020 NBA Draft is not digital.
There are still six rounds of the NFL Draft to be had, so there is a chance we see some kind of error over the next two days. Fortunately for the NBA, their entire draft process takes about four hours, the same amount of time it took for the NFL to get through just the first round. There will be less possibility for issues to arise with less run time, though there could be a handful of front offices that could have problems with a remote set up.
The NFL coaches and general managers seemed to have a relatively easy time communicating with one another during the first round, thanks to modern technology as well as an IT professional present in every “war room”.
But let’s think about the Kings for a moment and their conventional draft room. Typically, everyone is sitting around some kind of big table or conference area. They have papers and laptops out in front of them, and probably a list of players on the wall that they are crossing out as they get selected. A couple of televisions are set to the draft broadcast and the non-essential employees in the room are watching them with their arms crossed and a wide stance.
It is fun to picture him in some basement, facial hair gray and bushy. His computer is a Dell laptop from the late 90s and he has an internet cord plugged in to the side of it. Next to his computer is an ash tray of three-quarters burned marlboros and a single spiral notebook, wide spaced, with a pencil on top.
Could The Kings Handle A Digital Draft?
Joking aside, the notion of having Vlade Divac and the rest of his crew all at different locations during a large decision making process is scary for Kings fans. The franchise has endured blunder after blunder in the draft even when all of the basketball minds are in one room. There was even the infamous call to Nik Stauskas that made the Sacramento war room look like a joke.
“Nik rocks!” Ugh.
Does Divac get the final say? Will it be him who makes the call to the commissioner? If that is the case, how much faith can we put in to the organization making the correct pick? Not much.
And what if there is a technical difficulty? Compared to the NFL’s 10 minutes, each NBA team gets just 5 minutes to decide on who to select. What if there is a communication issue and the Kings end up selecting Aleksej Pokusevski in a desperation move? Even worse for Sacramento is the fact that they own three second-round picks, a round in which teams have just three minutes to make a selection.
We have no idea when the 2020 NBA Draft will be held or how it will be conducted. But based on what we have seen from the NFL, it is likely that the NBA will follow suit and have a digital draft with remote participants. Teams, and especially the Kings, should be preparing for such an event as soon as possible.
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