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NBA Board of Governors Discusses Start Date for 2020-21 Season

Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe of ESPN share items under discussion in today’s meeting.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA Board of Governors met today to discuss the start and format of the 2020-21 season. ESPN columnists Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe reported on the meeting this morning.

Start date for the season is one of the primary matters under consideration. It is not without contention.

There has been some discussion among owners about starting as soon as Christmas Day to take advantage of that historically prime NBA showcase, sources said. Numerous teams contacted by ESPN over the past several days weren’t sure such a timeline was feasible. Others have been pushing for a start around Martin Luther King Day weekend in mid-January, sources said.

The presence (or absence) of fans during the COVID-19 pandemic is a contributing factor, with voices advocating in multiple directions: start without fans, with limited fan presence, or delay until fans can be admitted with safety precautions.

Windhorst and Lowe suggest October 30th is a key date for negotiations. That’s the deadline for the league or the players’ union to provide notice if either intends to terminate the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. The two parties have also agreed to an eight-week minimum lead up to starting the season. There are roughly eight weeks between the end of October and Christmas.

The 2020-21 salary cap, and any special provisions therein for the unusual circumstances, remain under discussion as well. Those numbers will be necessary before free agency and the trade season commence.


Shams Charania of The Athletic says the NBA is targeting December 22nd as the start date for the season and that they’re looking at a 72-game campaign.


Wojnarowski says a play-in tournament is in play.

Also baseball-type series are on the table, plus eliminating the All-Star Game


Further updates...