It seems like there’s momentum growing for the current NBA season to resume at some point in July. It has been suspended since March 11 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As the Association tirelessly works towards resuming the current campaign, it is also looking at what the 2020-21 season might entail.
According to this note from Keith Smith of Yahoo! Sports, there’s every reason to believe next season will include a full 82-game slate. Smith notes that the schedule will likely be condensed in order to get back to the normal calendar the following season.
Expectations are that next season likely won’t start until December. In fact, Christmas Day has been bandied about as a possibility.
Given it came in just one tweet, this report is rather interesting. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has joined others in believing that the NBA should move to a December start permanently. Smith notes that it will take some time for that to come to fruition.
As it relates to the 2020-21 campaign, there’s no logical reason to believe it can start before December. If the current season resumes at some point in July (let’s say the 15th), it would not end in time for next season to start before December.
It’s also an open question whether next season’s slate will include fans being in attendance. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver previously warned players that empty arenas could be the name of the game early on.
Once this season resumes, it will be in bubble cities (likely Orlando and Las Vegas) without fans in attendance.