Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns, right, drives against San Antonio Spurs'...

Minnesota Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns, right, drives against San Antonio Spurs' Victor Wembanyama during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 113-112. Credit: AP/Darren Abate

The NBA draft is moving to a two-day format for the first time.

The league on Wednesday announced the change, which had been in the works for several months. Round 1 of the draft this year will be on Wednesday, June 26 at Barclays Center in New York. Round 2 will follow on June 27 at ESPN’s Seaport District Studios in New York.

Last year's draft — with Victor Wembanyama going No. 1 overall to the San Antonio Spurs — lasted nearly five hours and ended around 12:45 a.m. Eastern, which is one of the primary reasons for stretching it over two days.

The time between picks in the first round will remain five minutes. It will increase from two minutes to four minutes in the second round.

Teams have a slew of business to tend to in the hours following the draft, such as reaching agreements with undrafted free agents and finding players to fill rosters for the looming summer leagues. The league also expects that having draft broadcasts ending at a more reasonable hour will be more viewer-friendly.

The June 26 start date for the draft is three days after Game 7 of this season's NBA Finals, if the series goes the full distance. The finals are scheduled to begin on June 6.

The order for this season's draft will be finalized at the draft lottery on May 12. That's followed by the draft combine in Chicago, scheduled this year for May 13-19 under new rules.

All prospects who are invited by the NBA must attend the combine — where they'll have to participate in certain skills evaluation, height and wingspan measurements, medical examinations, team interviews, media sessions and more — in order to be eligible for the draft. Prospects will not be required to take part in scrimmage games that are part of the combine's offerings. This is a significant change from past years, when many top draft picks chose to skip the combine entirely.

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