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Lottery and combine postponed by coronavirus outbreak

FILE PHOTO: An NBA logo is seen on the facade of its flagship store at the Wangfujing shopping street in Beijing, China October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

(Reuters) - The lottery to determine which NBA team will get the number one overall draft pick along with the draft combine have both been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the league said on Friday.

Both events had been scheduled for Chicago with the lottery set for May 19 and the combine, where prospects for the draft are evaluated, held May 21-24.

Neither event was rescheduled, and the NBA said the league would continue to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic and consult with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government officials.

The draft, for the moment, remains scheduled for June 25.

To conduct a draft, the NBA will need a draft order, which is determined by the league standings at the end of the season.

The top four picks are decided by the lottery and are chosen from the 14 teams that do not make the playoffs.

With the current campaign still in flux so is the draft.

The NBA was the first of North America’s major sports leagues to shut down, suspending play on March 11 after a member of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus.

Like every other sport the NBA is running through a number of scenarios that would allow it to complete the current season.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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