NBA TV deal could be key to later draft date

Always looking to improve its show, the NBA is weighing the notion of holding its 2015 draft in July. Along with it, reports say, would be an awards show the preceding night.

While such a move could capitalize on big numbers seen in Thursday's selections, a later draft date is not without problems.

July 1, after all, is opening day of free agency. So either the league holds its draft after the signing frenzy cools or it postpones player movement market.

Changes would likely be tied to the league's new TV contract. Two years remain on the current accord that splits coverage among the ABC sports family and Turner Sports, which owns TNT and NBA TV.

Noting the options, CBS Sports sees the draft as the movable object. Yes, later selections would extend a drawn-out process after March Madness. But that change woul

d be easier than switching free agency and fiddling with contract dates.

Talks have begun with prospective TV partners, with heavy hitters NBC and Fox joining the melee.

The NBA postseason start-ups mirror the NHL, which has its awards show just ahead of the draft and soon after the Stanley Cup Finals. Both leagues now have a hectic few weeks until calm returns in mid-July.