NBA is Doing What it Can to Avoid Conflicts With NFL Games

Adam Silver, 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, Ja Morant, De'Andre Hunter, Darius Garland, Brandon Clarke, Romeo Langford, Jaxson Hayes, Tyler Herro, Bol Bol, PJ Washington, Matisse Thybulle, Mfiondu Kabengele
NBA Draft | Sarah Stier/Getty Images

When the reported dates for the NBA offseason hit the news cycle, there was reason for concern that it wouldn't get nearly the coverage it would due to direct conflict with NFL games. However, now that the dates are official for the draft, start of free agency, and a potential Game 7 of the finals, it's clear the NBA took that into consideration.

Should a Game 7 come into being, it would take place on Tuesday, October 12. The NBA Draft will take place four days later on October 16, a Saturday. The start of free agency will come on Sunday, October 17. That obviously comes at the same time as Sunday NFL action, but it's better than going head-to-head with a primetime game.

It will be interesting to see what kind of ratings the draft gets. It's not usually a huge draw on its own, but after months of no sports people may be inclined to consume everything they can get. A Saturday evening draft might come at the same time as a good college football game, but it's still relatively early in the season and likely won't be a marquee matchup on the national broadcast.

Compare that to the original suggested date, which would have come on the same day as a Thursday Night Football appearance by the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and the planned second presidential debate. That would have been a huge ratings loss for the league, and they need as many wins as they can in that department given the ground they need to make up in the financial department.

It is possible that this year's draft gets more viewers than your average year because the return of sports will entice everyone to tune it just because it's there, even if there aren't any big names and isn't particularly appealing to casual fans. It could also completely bottom out because everyone may very well stop caring about basketball entirely as soon as the Finals are wrapped up and complete attention can be turned to the NFL. Unprecedented times, indeed.