NBA, NBPA ‘Close’ On Salary Cap, Luxury Tax For 2021 Season
Adam Silver, NBA, Lakers, NBPA
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of work still needs to be done in order to get the 2020-21 NBA season underway, which means the league and the NBPA will have to work extremely closely to figure things out.

The two sides did an excellent job in coming together to finish out the 2020 season, but doing so again in this instance brings on some other difficulties. Chief among them is figuring out the salary cap and luxury tax numbers as it is based on the overall league revenues.

Obviously, revenues this season were way down as the league lost a ton of money due to the pandemic that is still going on today. But the NBA can’t let the salary cap drop accordingly as teams have players already under contract based on a higher number.

This means the two sides must negotiate a proper number that allows teams to take part in free agency and add players to their teams. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA and NBPA are close on those numbers:

The sides are close on the salary cap and tax figures, Roberts told The Athletic. Multiple sources say the cap and tax are expected to be $109 million and $132 million, respectively.

This is significant as the $109 million number is identical to the salary cap for this past season, meaning that the cap would not go down. Most teams do plan on the salary cap going up at least incrementally on an annual basis.

When the season starts remains up in the air as the league and its TV partners would prefer the season to start in December, but the players would rather it be pushed back to January. The NBA and NBPA must also negotiate how long the season would be as well as other in-season things such as the playoff play-in tournament and the NBA All-Star Game.

These numbers are just one step in a long process to get the 2021 NBA season on track and there is still a lot of work to be done.

Intraconference scheduling, bubbles being considered for 2020-21 NBA season

With so much still up in the air regarding the 2021 season, the league is considering all possibilities in order to get things done in the best way possible. As such, intraconference scheduling and mini bubble environments are possibilities right now.

The league is also looking at regional pods in which teams could play multiple games in the same area in an effort to reduce traveling and exposure to the coronavirus.

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