Earlier this week, we heard from The Athletic’s Shams Charania that the NBA and NBPA had agreed to push back some of the major upcoming dates in the league’s schedule, such as the NBA Draft (previously set for October 16), free agency (previously scheduled for October 18), and the start of next season.
We still don’t know when the 2020-21 season will start exactly, but Charania has now reported that it won’t begin until at least Christmas.
NBA’s league office informed Board of Governors today that the 2020-21 season won’t begin earlier than Christmas Day, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Nov. 18 Draft date, 20-21 start date remain fluid.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 10, 2020
The original aim to begin the 2020-21 season in early December always seemed ambitions. The NBA has an awful lot to consider before next season — from modifying the CBA, to determining whether the league will have to remain in a bubble at another location or try to return to team arenas — and was already facing a shortened offseason.
Adam Silver and the league also want to get fans back at games. Delaying the season to at least try and make that a possibility (if there’s progress with increased testing or a vaccine) isn’t surprising either.
If pushing the start date back gives the NBA and NBPA more time to iron out the logistics of everything and ensure players, team staff members and (maybe) some fans are as safe as possible as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it’s worth it.
As our Sean Kennedy noted when looking at the NBA’s changing schedule, delays should help the Philadelphia 76ers. Nothing has really happened since the end of the Sixers’ season so far besides rumors about which head coach may be hired, but Elton Brand has said that front office changes need to happen. He’s leading a thorough review of the organization.
If Brand sticks to his word and completes the front office overhaul that’s very much needed, there’s a lot to do. The more time they have to get the team in order, ideally establish a new front office, hire a new head coach and prepare for the NBA Draft in November and free agency, the better.