Just one month after the conclusion of the 2020 NBA Finals, the league and players quickly agreed to a format and structure for the 2020-21 season.
Per Tim Bontemps and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the NBA and NBPA agreed (in principle) on an amended CBA for the 2020-21 season.
The free agency period will open on Nov. 20, following the Nov. 18 NBA Draft. The regular season will start before Christmas on Dec. 22, and they’re reducing the regular season schedule from 82 to 72 games.
Per Bontemps and Wojnarowski, the salary cap and luxury tax numbers of $109.1 million and $132.6 million, respectively will remain the same from the 2019-20 season. The rest of the CBA will see the salary cap increase “by a minimum of 3% per year” plus “a maximum of 10%.”
Last week, it was reported that the NBA was hoping to have fans at games in the arena suites, with a capacity of 25 to 50 percent. These plans haven’t been finalized, however.
By the time the 2020-21 season begins, it will have only been two and a half months since the conclusion of the NBA Finals.
But eight teams weren’t brought back for the return to play format in the Orlando, Florida bubble – and they haven’t played since March (prior to the regular season suspension amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Six teams that returned to play missed the playoffs, which began on Aug. 17.
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So nearly half the teams have endured lengthy offseasons, and there was clearly plenty of excitement about starting up the 2020-21 season in short time.
The NHL and MLB, meanwhile, have yet to decide on formats and structures for their respective seasons. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman previously stated that the league was eyeing a Jan. 1 start date, but that remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, the 2020 NFL has completed nine weeks of its regular season schedule, which concludes on Jan. 3 – with the playoffs set to begin six days later.
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