Talks over the start date of the 2020-21 NBA season have become a significant predicament. The league is scrambling to find an optimal solution that would accommodate the needs of players but also allow the season to end in time before next the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The latest proposal suggested a Dec. 22 start date for a 72-game regular season, a plan that gained sympathizers among some team officials.
But as Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green has pointed out, such a quick turnaround would mean players who just recently were still competing in the Orlando bubble would only get eight weeks to rest. He implied his veteran teammates, such as LeBron James, could miss the first month of games if the league went ahead with the plan.
Meanwhile, the executive director of the NBPA, Michele Roberts, has named player health as one of her main concerns of resuming the competition so soon. And Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported a significant number of players oppose a mid-December return of the NBA:
Yahoo Sources: Substantial faction of players and star players pushing for NBA season to start Jan. 18 — MLK Day — with a free-agency commencement of Dec. 1.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 28, 2020
A pre-Christmas tip-off would take place just a month after the 2020 NBA Draft. In addition, free agency would start shortly after, reportedly on Nov. 20, with training camps beginning in early December — providing the teams with a massive scheduling headache.
The proposal would also likely result in canceling the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, scheduled to take place in Indianapolis.
Salary cap to see a significant decrease
A decrease in salary cap is just another ripple effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the NBA. Due to the loss in revenue caused by the four-month hiatus and lack of gameday profit, the cap is reportedly expected to drop between $3 million and $12 million.
The decrease would lower the luxury tax threshold, but that would not be a worry for the Lakers, who are not a luxury tax team. However, it would require the front office to be even more selective while making any roster movements and show creativity in using the available salary cap exemptions.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!