ESPN’s Exclusive Coverage of the 2019 NBA Draft Presented By State Farm


ESPN’s Exclusive Coverage of the 2019 NBA Draft Presented By State Farm

Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and RJ Barrett Lead Highly Anticipated Draft Class

ESPN will exclusively televise the 2019 NBA Draft presented by State Farm on Thursday, June 20, at 7:30 p.m. ET from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.  ESPN’s pre-event coverage will precede the Draft on ESPN from 7-7:30 p.m. This year marks the 17th consecutive time ESPN has televised the NBA Draft.

The highly anticipated 2019 NBA Draft class features superstars Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett who are widely projected to be selected within the top picks. The New Orleans Pelicans won the 2019 Draft Lottery and will have the no. 1 overall selection in this year’s Draft.

Rece Davis will return to host the NBA Draft with a panel of expert basketball commentators, including ESPN analysts Jay Bilas, Chauncey Billups, Mike Schmitz and Bobby Marks, and ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski. Additionally, Maria Taylor will serve as the event reporter and will conduct interviews with the draftees once selected.

Production highlights include:

  • Rail Cam – that runs the length of stage for a new angle and a high-end look once a selection has been made;
  • 4 Point Cam – adds new coverage from the rafters;
  • Post Pick Cam – all-access cam that is capable of bringing in shots of the players as they work their way through the post-selection media circuit;
  • Top picks will join the set after they are selected;.
  • Live look-in with Marty Smith from a New Orleans watch party.

In addition, acclaimed actor Forest Whitaker voiced over several production elements for ESPN’s NBA Draft telecast and those will be featured throughout the night.

A special two-hour edition of The Jump, ESPN’s daily NBA show hosted by Rachel Nichols, will air live from 3-5 p.m. on the “green carpet” at the Barclays Center. The show will feature interviews with Draft prospects straight from the “green carpet”. Nichols will also conduct an exclusive sit-down interview with Zion Williamson on June 19, which will air throughout the day on June 20.

ESPN will fully document the NBA Draft with all-day coverage of the event across platforms. Features on members of the incoming Draft class, interviews with league executives and additional access will begin airing on Get Up and SportsCenter.

ESPN Radio will nationally broadcast the NBA Draft on June 20. Marc Kestecher will describe the event with analysts Kara Lawson, P.J. Carlesimo and Bob Valvano.

To prepare fans for the event, ESPN will televise its Mock Draft special on Tuesday, June 18, at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. Maria Taylor hosts the show with Jay Williams, Adrian Wojnarowski, Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz.

Exclusively on ESPN+: Declared Featuring Chris Brickley

Declared, a new seven-part documentary series featuring premier NBA skills trainer Chris Brickley, is available on ESPN+, the leading multi-sport streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN.

Guided by BrickleyDeclared explores the behind-the-scenes process and intense work required to navigate the “game within a game” as prominent NBA prospects make the decision to declare for the NBA draft and chase their dreams.

ESPN’s coverage of the 2019 NBA Draft began in May with its exclusive NBA Draft Lottery telecast, followed by its coverage of the 2019 NBA Draft Combine. Following the NBA Draft, ESPN will televise 43 games from Summer League in Las Vegas, Friday, July 5 through Monday, July 15. All Summer League games will be carried on the ESPN App.


Ben Cafardo

I lead communications strategy and execution for ESPN’s NBA, MLB, FIBA and Little League World Series properties. I’m also a proud consumer of all things ESPN.
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