Next NBA season to start before Christmas

·2-min read

The NBA is coming back on December 22.

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced Monday night that they've struck a deal on rules for this coming season, setting the stage for what will be a frenzied few weeks before games resume.

Teams will play a 72-game schedule, which will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The typical NBA season begins around Halloween and each team plays 82 regular-season games.

The league said a new system will be used to ensure that the split of basketball-related income continues, one of the many details that had to be collectively bargained with the union because the current agreement had a great deal of language that needed reworking because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Training camps this year will begin on December 1.

Many rosters could be considerably reshaped by then, with trades likely to be permissible again in the coming days and the NBA draft set to take place November 18.

Player and team options likely will be settled around that same time.

Free agency starts two days after the draft, with about 100 players set to be unrestricted.

The salary cap and tax level will remain unchanged.

The cap was $109.14 million ($A149.77m) this past season, with the tax level at $132.62m ($A182m).

The real numbers will be affected by the schedule - last year's numbers were based on the standard 82-game season, a threshold that won't be reached this year.

The off-season will be the shortest in history, with just six weeks between the day the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in Game 6 to win the NBA finals and the start of training camp.

However, for the eight teams that didn't make the July restart bubble in Florida this summer it has been a marathon break - not having played since the second week of March when the campaign was suspended due to COVID-19.