2012 NBA draft to be held at Newark’s Prudential Center, which won’t be an NBA arena

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The NBA announced Wednesday that the 2012 draft will be held for the second straight year at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

This year’s draft is June 28. By that time, Newark and the Prudential Center no longer will be home to an NBA team.

The Prudential Center also hosted last year’s draft. Currently, the building known as “The Rock” is home to the New Jersey Nets. However, the Nets are moving to Brooklyn after this season, leaving the Newark facility without its NBA tenant. It remains home to the New Jersey Devils of the NHL.

The primary home of the NBA draft has been New York, whether it was at the Felt Forum (later known as The Paramount, now known as the Theater at Madison Square Garden) or the Javits Center. However, many other cities have hosted the draft.

The draft was hosted by Portland in 1992, when that city also hosted the FIBA Tournament of the Americas, the first international competition featuring the original Dream Team. Other host cities have been Detroit (1993), Indianapolis (1994), Toronto (1995), East Rutherford, N.J. (1996), Charlotte (1997), Vancouver (1998), Washington (1999) and Minneapolis (2000).

One of the issues is holding the draft in rotating cities was the unpredictability of the host team’s draft strategy. For example, the Hornets did not have a pick in either round in 1997, when they were the host team.

That could be a problem this year as well, at least among the early picks. The Nets hold Houston’s first-round pick, but it is lottery-protected. So if the Rockets miss the playoffs, they keep the pick.

Furthermore, the Nets dealt their first-round pick to Portland in the Gerald Wallace deal. That pick also is protected but only through the top three. New Jersey currently has the fourth-worst record, and if form holds through the lottery, the pick is conveyed to Portland.

 

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