Trying to map out what the 2020-21 NBA season will look like is tricky, if only because no one has any idea when it is going to start. Beyond the fact that it is believed that there will be CBA negotiations this offseason, the unprecedented situation the league finds itself in by wrapping up its postseason in October means there is no real road map to follow.
Previous reports indicated that the NBA wanted to tip things off in early-December, although that has been extremely fluid, with a range of dates from early-December to March being mentioned at one point or another. Now, the league has a slightly better idea of when it hopes to start things up.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the league informed its Board of Governors that the earliest possible start date for the year would be Christmas Day 2020.
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
There have been calls for years for the league to let the NFL and college football have the spotlight in autumn and turn Christmas Day into its start date for years, but of course, things are far different now than they would be under normal circumstances. This does not mean that the league would target Dec. 25 to start — one report indicated that it would be willing to wait until March if that’s when they could get fans into arenas safely due to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments — but at the very least, it provides clarity on one of the outstanding issues that the league was facing as next season approached.