ESPN and ABC to Exclusively Televise the 2021 NBA Draft presented by State Farm Thursday, July 29, at 8 p.m. ET

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ESPN and ABC to Exclusively Televise the 2021 NBA Draft presented by State Farm Thursday, July 29, at 8 p.m. ET

Round One to Simulcast on ESPN and ABC, Round Two on ESPN

  • The Jump to host NBA Draft Red Carpet Special
  • NBA Draft Preview Show on Wednesday, July 28, on ESPN2

ESPN and ABC will exclusively televise the 2021 NBA Draft presented by State Farm live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Thursday, July 29, at 8 p.m. ET, with pre-draft coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m., on ESPN. For the first time, round one of the draft will simulcast on ESPN and ABC, while round two will air on ESPN. This marks ESPN’s 19th consecutive NBA Draft telecast overall. The NBA Draft will also be available on ESPN Radio and the ESPN App.

ESPN Coverage

Rece Davis will return 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 will provide trade reports, breaking news updates and team insight throughout the night. ESPN’s coverage will also include 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 will host the NBA Draft on ABC alongside NBA analysts Jalen Rose and Chiney Ogwumike and NBA reporter Malika Andrews. The panel will celebrate the journeys of the prospects as they arrive on the biggest stage in basketball. Andrews will conduct 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,” will provide ‘back stage’ access throughout round one as an ABC Draft Correspondent.

Draft content will include 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.

Both telecasts will begin with high tech animation scored with original music from rapper Benny the Butcher, embracing the rap style of the early 2000s. Technical coverage throughout the night will include cameras overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square, an internal aerial view of Barclays Center, multiple dynamic virtual technology, all-access robotic cameras, and mic’d up players for behind the scenes content. Additionally, new high-end custom graphics and scores of personal player features will debut during the event.

The ESPN and ABC sets will be located in front of the newly designed LED stage backdrop.

ESPN Radio

ESPN Radio will also nationally broadcast the 2021 NBA Draft. Marc Kestecher will describe the event from Brooklyn with analysts P.J. Carlesimo and Seth Greenberg and ESPN Senior Writer Ramona Shelburne. Analyst and former NBA player Cory Alexander will host ESPN Radio’s pre-draft and post-draft shows. The ESPN Radio pre-draft show begins at 7 p.m. Audio from ESPN Radio’s NBA Draft broadcast will be available to stream on the ESPN App.

The Jump

Thursday’s edition of The Jump, ESPN’s daily NBA news and discussion show, will be live from the Barclays Center at 3 p.m. Host Rachel Nichols will be joined by analysts Richard Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins, NBA Draft Analyst Mike Schmitz and Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Jump returns at 5 p.m. on ESPN with Nichols, Jefferson, NBA Reporter Nick Friedell and commentator Clinton Yates for an hour long pre-draft Red Carpet Special, featuring interviews with draftees and NBA guests.

NBA Draft Preview Show

ESPN’s 30-minute NBA Draft Preview show will air on Wednesday, July 28, at 6:30 p.m., on ESPN2. Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Mike Schmitz, Kendrick Perkins, Adrian Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks will discuss the biggest NBA Draft storylines including top picks, possible trades and more.

Digital Content will offer a wide variety of digital content leading into the 2021 NBA Draft:

  • On Monday, Kevin Pelton gave last-minute updates on NBA draft projections, trade questions and the most divisive picks rumored.
  • Jonathan Givony will continue to update his top 100 best available prospects through the week as intel changes from teams. On the night of the draft, Givony will provide live pick-by-pick updates in the ESPN Draftcast. Afterward, a panel of NBA and draft experts will offer draft grades and winners/losers of the 2021 draft.


Shakeemah Simmons-Winter

I am a senior publicist for men’s pro sports, working predominantly with the NBA and FIBA properties. I’m a Jersey City, NJ native, so I cheer for all New York sports and athletes, win or lose. I began my sports career as a small forward for JCPS #9’s elementary basketball team, and then years later gave up my hoop dreams (sort of) to work as the Public Relations Coordinator for the New York Knicks. Prior to working in sports, I briefly worked as an intern turned production assistant for the Wendy Williams Show. I earned a B.A. in Communications from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, where I met my husband Matthew, and later attended New York University to earn a M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communications. I am excited to continue my sports journey with some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the sports industry.
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