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2021 NBA Draft to take place July 29; combine, lottery set for late June

The NBA Draft typically takes place in June, but due to the league's schedule being pushed back because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 draft will happen in late July. File Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA
The NBA Draft typically takes place in June, but due to the league's schedule being pushed back because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 draft will happen in late July. File Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA

March 29 (UPI) -- The NBA announced Monday that this year's draft will be held July 29, marking the second consecutive season in which the event won't take place in its traditional slot.

The league also said the draft lottery will take place June 22, while the draft combine will happen June 21-27. All three events will be aired on ESPN.

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The NBA typically holds the lottery and combine in mid-May and the draft in late June before the start of free agency July 1. But because the league's 2020-21 schedule has been pushed back due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, officials have been forced to reschedule everything by about a month.

The regular season is set to conclude May 16 and will be followed by the NBA's first play-in tournament. The playoffs will then run into July for the first time.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver previously said the league plans to return to its usual schedule for the 2021-22 campaign, meaning training camp will start in late September and the season will begin in October.

The 2020-21 season began in late December instead of mid-October because of the pandemic. The season also consisted of only 72 games, down from the typical 82 contests per team.

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