NOT only is New Zealand’s National Basketball League (NBL) providing sports-deprived fans with a much needed reprieve, but it is doing it in style with a player draft to determine teams.
In what will be a New Zealand NBL first, the 2020 Sal’s NBL competition will run for six weeks, with the seven competing teams selecting 84 players to fill out lists. The draft will occur on Thursday, June 11 and not only is the first ever draft for the league, but comes with a unique set of rules set out by NBL New Zealand:
- Each team must end up with a roster of 12 players.
- Each roster will include an active group of 10 players and 2 emergency players. The emergencies will be called into action to replace any player who suffers injury, illness or has to return home for a legitimate reason.
- Each roster is ranked by a draft position / Rank 1 down to Rank 12.
- Player payments are made according to a player’s Ranking (draft position).
- Rank 1 players in each team get paid the most, which is equal across every team / Rank 2 players then all get paid the next amount / Rank 3 the next amount, then Rank 4 and so on.
- The payments for each Ranking are the same in every team, there is no difference from team to team.
- The top Rank 7 players in each team will be paid.
- Rank 8, 9 and 10 players are non-paid positions. These positions can also be filled by amateurs.
- Accommodation and food are covered for all players.
Player registration for the draft opens next Monday, with eligibility being currently situated in New Zealand, or are a New Zealand citizen in Australia. Those who fall in the latter category must still abide by quarantine regulations in order to play.
Registration will remain open until Friday, June 5, from which the Pre-Selection Window will open the next day. Teams are able to pre-select certain players that meet criteria. They are, that firstly they must be chosen as one of the Top Rank 14 players (selected by the NBL Independent Panel) and also:
1) The player has lived in the team’s allocated region for no less than 10 years at any one time.
2) The player has attended school in the team’s allocated region for no less than 4 years.
3) The player has previously played the bulk of their NBL minutes for the team.
4) The player had previously signed for the team for the 2020 Sal’s NBL season.
Teams must select no more than two Top Rank 14 players, and those that are not selected or do not fit a team’s criteria, enter the draft. Teams will be notified the day before the draft which players they successfully obtained in pre-selection.
The NBL New Zealand Draft will take place on Thursday, June 11, with the draft order determined the day before by 3pm. The Independent Panel will determine the draft order based on the pre-selections. The host on the night will announce the team making each selection and announce when a player has been selected. The draft will run for 12 rounds with seven selections each, with a further two rounds for emergency players.
Following the draft, a short Trade Window will open between Friday, June 12 and Sunday, June 14 with balanced trades that retain acceptable list numbers. Multi-team trades and on-traded players are able to be traded however the players must hold their payment according to their rank (ie. draft selection).
The official rosters are confirmed on Monday, June 15 with all seven teams arriving in Auckland on Friday, June 19. The opening games of the season will commence on Tuesday, June 23 with the season running right up until August 1.
In 2020, the seven competing teams are:
- Taranaki Mountainairs;
- Nelson Giants;
- Auckland Huskies;
- Canterbury Rams;
- Manawatu Jets;
- Otago Nuggets; and
- Franklin Bulls.
The season will feature 56 games, all broadcast on Sky Sport, with some on free to air through Sky Sport Next, Prime, Stuff and the Tribe App. Games will be played on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays to ensure fans maximise the potential viewing action.
Draft Central is excited to cover the competition through its 2020 season.