The 2020-21 NBA season will not begin earlier than Christmas Day this year, Shams Charania reports for The Athletic.
The league office reportedly told the Board of Governors on Thursday that the season will not begin before Dec. 25 due to the delayed timeline of the rest of the 2019-20 season and playoffs.
NBA’s league office informed Board of Governors today that the 2020-21 season won’t begin earlier than Christmas Day, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Nov. 18 Draft date, 20-21 start date remain fluid.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 10, 2020
The league has previously said it hoped to start the season by Dec. 1 after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to postpone its 2019-20 season in March. Its bubble at Disney World in Florida began in July and will run into October.
Commissioner Adam Silver said last month that felt a “little bit early” and it was likely to be pushed.
NBA eyes delay for draft
The league informed teams on Wednesday, per a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, that the 2020 draft is facing a potential move to Nov. 18. It was previously rescheduled to Oct. 15.
The league, Board of Governors and general managers are reportedly discussing the move this week and will potentially finalize it.
Teams reportedly wanted the draft pushed back to allow for more time to negotiate the salary cap.
Silver already planning to move season back
The loose Dec. 1 date for the new season to begin was one month later than usual. Silver said in late August that it was beginning to feel a little too soon.
The NBA is also hoping to have fans back in the arenas for its new season.
“Dec. 1, now that we’re working through this season, is feeling a little bit early to me. Our No. 1 goal is to get fans back in our arenas. My sense is in working with the Players’ Association, if we could push back even a little longer and increase the likelihood of having fans in arenas, that’s what we would do.”
The NBA Finals are scheduled to end in October, leaving some players less than a month and a half of an offseason before the Dec. 1 date. Rookies would have also had a two-week turnaround to get acquainted with their teams.
Pushing it back toward the end of the month instead gives veterans about eight weeks and rookies a month before games.
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