Although the NBA and Players Association have agreed to a 22-team plan for a return-to-play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on the Walt Disney World campus in Orlando, Fla., there are several details that still need to be finalized.
That applies to not only resuming and finishing the 2019-20 NBA season, but looking forward as well. As it currently stands, the NBA plans to hold the Lottery on Aug. 25, with the Draft taking place Oct. 15, and the 2020-21 season potentially tipping off on Dec. 1.
However, both parties must agree to those dates, and the NBPA already relayed to players that beginning next season on the first day of December was not likely to become a reality. That stems from how deep this season’s playoffs will stretch into the calendar.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, there will be roughly two weeks of regular-season games and a play-in tournament before the NBA Playoffs begin Aug. 18:
July 31: First game
August 16 and 17: Play-in tournament
August 18: First round
September 1: Second round
September 15: Conference finals
September 30: NBA Finals
Should the NBA Finals go to a Game 7, that is expected to be played Oct. 12.
Teams are expected to convene training camps in June, which will provide players time to safely ramp up their level of activity. That was a key factor for Jared Dudley, among other players. Dudley is also one of several Los Angeles Lakers who has taken advantage of the team re-opening their practice facility.
Also in June, the NBA is expected to open a period during which teams can complete roster transactions. During this time teams will be permitted to covert two-way players to NBA contracts and sign eligible free agents for the remainder of season.
Theoretically, that could be when the Lakers re-signed DeMarcus Cousins. He was considered a long shot to return late in the playoffs under normal circumstances, and though there was some optimism over that possibility, the Lakers waived Cousins to sign Markieff Morris.