NBA sets dates for 2021 draft, lottery

The NBA has decided on dates for the 2021 NBA draft and draft lottery.

The lottery will take place on June 22, and the draft will take place on July 29, the NBA announced on Monday. A draft combine will take place from June 21-27. The draft will air on ABC and ESPN. The league will announce other details like the draft's location at a later date.

The July date is roughly a month later than the traditional late June NBA draft. The NBA Finals are scheduled to run as late as July 22 this year because of the revamped COVID-19 schedule, forcing the draft to be moved back. Having a draft during the summer at all marks a semblance of a return to normalcy after the 2020 NBA draft took place in November during the short window between the conclusion of the NBA bubble and the start of the 2020-21 season.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: (L-R) NBA Draft prospects Kevin Porter Jr., Nicolas Claxton, Sekou Doumbouya, Goga Bitazde, Keldon Johnson, Nassir Little, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Rui Hachimuri, Jarrett Culver, Cam Reddish, Coby White, Zion Williamson, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Ja Morant, De'Andre Hunter, Darius Garland, Brandon Clarke, Romeo Langford, Jaxson Hayes, Tyler Herro, Bol Bol, PJ Washington, Matisse Thybulle and Mfiondu Kabengele stand on stage with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver before the start of the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Will this year's draft be an in-person event? (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) (Sarah Stier via Getty Images)

What will the NBA draft look like this year?

The league did not announce any logistics around the event. The 2020 draft was held virtually because of the pandemic.

With vaccination rates increasing and vaccines expected to be widely available by the time the draft takes place, the NBA could potentially plan for the return of a traditional, in-person draft. This far out, it makes sense if the league is satisfied with setting a date for now and figuring out the logistics when there's a firmer grasp on the state of public health.

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