The 2019-20 NBA season is expected to conclude at some point within the next two months after the campaign was suspended back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While things are going swimmingly inside the bubble at Walt Disney World, that five-plus month hiatus is going to have an impact on the 2020-21 season.
We now have some further clarification on this.
NBA to postpone the start of free agency and the 2020 NBA Draft
“NBA is moving toward pushing back this year’s draft, scheduled for Oct. 16, along with Oct. 18 start of free agency, partly because of likelihood that the tentative opening of the 2020-21 season will be delayed from Dec. 1, per sources,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday. “Also allows more time to set a salary cap.
We could see this coming a mile away. Earlier on Tuesday, the NBA insider noted that both the Association and its players had agreed to delay the collective bargaining agreement termination window by 60 days.
This is no small thing given that the two sides must work together to take into account the financial complexities brought forth by the pandemic. That includes figuring out a salary cap for next season to take into account the league-wide revenue downtick.
Start of 2020-21 NBA season expected to be postponed
The NBA is considering several different options as it relates to next season. It would love for fans to be able to attend games. If widespread availability of a COVID-19 vaccine becomes imminent, this is likely the course the NBA will take. That is to say delaying the start of the season until mid-January (at the earliest).
The other option is playing next season in four different bubble cities, Las Vegas, Orlando, Dallas and New York. This would pretty much be the worst-case scenario for the NBA and its financial well-being moving forward.