The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to be a part of daily life in the United States. And while the NBA has been able to create an effective bubble for its restart and now the 2020 Playoffs, there are still plenty of question marks as to where the league goes after the season has ended.
The first of these questions is with the NBA Draft. Upon the league initially adjusting its calendar after being shut down for a few months, the Draft was re-scheduled for Oct. 16, which is the week following the conclusion of the NBA Finals.
However, teams and league officials have been discussing moving everything — from the draft to the start of the 2020-21 season — back to allow for teams to get a better sense of their financial situation.
Now a new draft date of Nov. 18 is being discussed, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The NBA is targeting Nov. 18 as a new date for the 2020 draft, pending discussions with league owners and general managers in separate meetings on Thursday and Friday, according to a memo obtained by ESPN.
The delay would allow the league and union to negotiate amendments to the collective bargaining agreement and agree on 2020-21 salary cap and luxury tax thresholds.
While the Draft rarely has significant salary cap and luxury tax implications, other than the value of the rookie scale contracts, it is an important step for free agency.
The Draft has always come before the start of free agency, meaning the league must get the collective bargaining agreement in order before proceeding with the typical offseason schedule.
While this will be anything but a typical offseason, the NBA and Players Association will do everything in their power to ensure that teams know where they are financially before making potentially franchise altering decisions.
2020-21 season opener postponed until at least Christmas Day
In addition to the difficulty surrounding the offseason plans, next season remains an even bigger challenge. While Dec. 1 was initially agreed to as the start date, it became clear early on that this wouldn’t happen.
Now, with the Draft being pushed into mid-November, and free agency following that, the 2020-21 season won’t begin until at least Dec. 25. Potentially, this date could be even later depending on the progression of the pandemic and the financial situation of the NBA.
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