The NBA and Players Association finally agreed on a Dec. 22 start date for the 2020-21 season, meaning the Los Angeles Lakers and other teams will have to regroup quickly after the end of the last campaign.
L.A. won their 17th championship in the Orlando bubble last month, amounting to the beginning of next season coming just eight weeks after they hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy. A significant group of NBA players reportedly opposed the December return, with Lakers guard Danny Green believing some of his teammates, including LeBron James, could miss the first weeks of games.
But James is said to have supported the pre-Christmas date, mainly due to financial reasons. And Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told Spectrum SportsNet that despite the challenges posed by the quick turnaround, the organization is looking forward to starting its title defense soon:
“The 72-game season we’re about to endure is something we feel very good about. Obviously it’s been a super quick turnaround for our team, the shortest offseason in the history of the NBA. But this is a team that embraces challenges, and this is just the next challenge in line for us. The opportunity to dive into all the challenges that come with trying to repeat as an NBA champion is something myself, my staff and our front office is really looking forward to.”
Before the games resume, the NBA will first carry out the 2020 NBA Draft, scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 18. Free agency will begin two days later with signings becoming official on Nov. 22.
Lakers reportedly interested in Tristan Thompson, Serge Ibaka
The Lakers are facing a tricky offseason, trying to strike a balance between keeping parts of the championship roster at a reasonable price and bringing in new pieces. According to reports, L.A. is looking at two big men, Tristan Thompson and Serge Ibaka, this free agency.
That could mean the NBA champions are set for a reshuffle at the 4 and 5 positions. Markieff Morris and Dwight Howard are free agents and might be looking to cash in financially ahead of the 2020-21 season. JaVale McGee has a player option for the upcoming season and recently sold his L.A. mansion he lived in the past five years.
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