NBA 2020-21 Season: Key Dates Around Season Start, Free Agency, Drafts & More

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The NBA did a brilliant job of navigating the postseason amid a pandemic. With all the safety protocols and social distancing measures in the Orlando Bubble, and by also making sure they included fans as a virtual audience, the NBA handled things very well. But now the league has another daunting task on their to-do list. They have to figure out the best timeline possible for the 2020-21 campaign.

The proposed date for the 2020-21 NBA season

The tentatively approved dates by the NBPA are December 22. This includes a reduced 72-game decision. The league office wanted to finalize this date so that this season is short. They want to bring back their normal October-June schedule by the time the 2020-21 season comes.

These dates received pushback from the players. This is because starting the next season, just two months after the previous one isn’t fair to those who were playing in the Bubble in the last few weeks. They won’t get enough time to relax, recuperate, and prepare for the upcoming season. However, after careful consideration, the pre-Christmas start has been agreed upon.

As per ESPN, the NBPA stated, “Additional details remain to be negotiated, and the NBPA is confident that the parties will reach agreement on these remaining issues relevant to the upcoming season.”

Tentative dates for trade restrictions, drafting, and free agency

The teams were given a green-light to conduct in-person interviews from October 16 to November 16. Thus, according to Shams Charania from The Athletic, trade restrictions might be lifted by November 16. The NBA Draft will begin shortly afterwards.

Talking about free agency, Adrian Wojnarowski posted, “The NBA and NBPA are expected to discuss moving up the start of free agency as early as possible to accommodate players joining new teams so close to a Dec. 1 start of training camps, sources tell ESPN.”

After their success in planning the last season, it won’t be surprising if they pull this off as well. With the schedule almost in place, what’s left are the league’s finances, for which negotiations are still underway.

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