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NBA Draft

NBA Draft

  • Premiered: 
    June 10, 1980
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: USA
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Special, Annual
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Draft for NBA Basketball 
  • Subject Matter: Sports
  • Tags: basketball

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Plot Synopsis

Each year since 1947, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has held its annual draft, during which NBA teams select amateur basketball players. In its early years, between 80 and 150 players were selected in each draft, with the number of rounds changing frequently from year to year. From 1965-1973, the draft had between 18 and 21 rounds, and then the following year the NBA DRAFT was reduced to 10 rounds for the next 11 years. In 1985, the NBA DRAFT was comprised of seven rounds, reduced to three rounds for the next three years (1986-1988), and then two rounds ever since. The NBA DRAFT was first televised on June 10, 1980, when USA Network showed the draft live, and the proceedings have been shown live on TV each year since. USA Network presented the NBA DRAFT for five years (1980-1984), and then TBS Superstation showed it for the next five years (1985-1989), concluding with the first primetime telecast on Tuesday, June 27, 1989. Since then, the NBA DRAFT has been televised live during primetime on TNT (1990-2002) and on ESPN (2003-Present).
The 2021 NBA DRAFT is televised live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 8pm ET/5pm PT on ABC and ESPN. For the first time, Round 1 of the draft is simulcast on ESPN and ABC, while Round 2 airs on ESPN. This marks ESPN's 19th consecutive NBA Draft telecast overall.

ESPN Coverage: Rece Davis returns to host ESPN's coverage with an expert panel of commentators, including analysts Jay Bilas and Kendrick Perkins, and NBA Draft analyst Mike Schmitz. Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski provides trade reports, breaking news updates and team insight throughout the night. ESPN's coverage also includes commentary and analysis from NBA Front Office Insider Bobby Marks, host Rachel Nichols and analyst Richard Jefferson.

ABC Coverage: SPORTSCENTER anchor and college football/basketball host Kevin Negandhi hosts the NBA Draft on ABC alongside NBA analysts Jalen Rose and Chiney Ogwumike and NBA reporter Malika Andrews. The panel celebrates the journeys of the prospects as they arrive on the biggest stage in basketball. Andrews conducts one-on-one interviews with draftees following each team's Draft selection. Twenty prospects are expected to appear in-person. Miles Brown, actor/rapper/dancer and star of ABC's BLACK-ISH provides back-stage access throughout round one as an ABC Draft Correspondent. Draft content includes a look back 25 years ago to the 1996 NBA Draft, featuring superstars like Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Steve Nash and Stephon Marbury.


Other Titles

  • Also known as: National Basketball Association Draft


  • Barclays Center (2013-2019, 2021) - Brooklyn, New York USA - Map It!
  • ESPN Studios (2020) - Bristol, Connecticut USA