There’s no clear start date for the 2020-2021 NBA season, but that could change as early as this week.
On Monday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made it apparent the league and the NBPA need to agree on next season’s start date as soon as possible. As Silver mentioned before, he’d like to give teams an eight-week notice before the season’s start — he’s slowly running out of time to honor that promise if the NBA intends to begin in 2020.
Before, the NBA had December 1 as a soft target date. That was when the 2020 NBA Draft and free agency period was set for October. Once both of those key events were pushed back to mid-November — the December 1 start date was no longer a realistic option.
For months it seemed the NBA was headed towards a January start at the earliest. Even Silver himself predicted the 2020-2021 season would start after the new year came in. At this point, though, the NBA is gunning for a December start — but the players will have to agree with the plan.
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A decision will supposedly be made this week. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBPA will hold a vote on Thursday night or Friday morning regarding the NBA’s desired December 22 start date.
If the 2020-2021 season doesn’t start in late December, the league fears TV partners may want to renegotiate their deals, which would affect the NBA financially. Plus, if the NBA starts later on in January, players likely won’t have the opportunity to compete in the 2021 Summer Olympics.
Soon enough, the NBPA will come to a conclusion as to whether training camp for next season opens up on December 1 for a December 22 start date or December 28 for a January 18 tip-off.
Justin Grasso covers the NBA for The Sports Daily. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_