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NBPA Director Roberts Says December 22 Start Date “Defies Common Sense”

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The league wants the season to start before Christmas. The players are not so sure.

2019 NBA Finals Cares Events Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA Board of Governors may be targeting a December 22nd start to the 2020-21 regular season, but the NBPA and its members are not so sure. Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted tonight that Michele Roberts, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association, has indicated that the season start date and negotiations over the Collective Bargaining Agreement cannot be rushed. Specifically, she says shoehorning all the necessary negotiations and agreements into such a short time span “defies common sense”.

The league and the union have extended the deadline for either side opting out of the CBA repeatedly this fall. The current target date is Friday, October 30th, just two days from now. The required notice is six weeks, which would fall in mid-December. Obviously that would obliterate any designs on a December start. Without a mutually-acceptable CBA, the league will not be able to determine a salary cap, which would prevent teams from making trades or signing free agents. It would also push back the start of training camps prior to the new year.

Earlier today Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that a “substantial faction” of players favor a January 18th start instead of December.