The NBPA has tentatively approved ownership’s proposal for the 2020-21 NBA season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. That proposal includes starting on Dec. 22, in time for the league’s marquee Christmas slate of games. The schedule will be 72 games long. Teams are expected to open training camp on Dec. 1, less than a month from now and almost certainly overlapping with the active portion of free agency, which does not yet have a definitive opening date.
The plan had initially received quite of a bit of resistance from the players, who wanted a longer offseason after the mentally exhausting Orlando bubble. The Lakers and Heat will now have an offseason just over two months long after reaching the NBA Finals. The Celtics and Nuggets will both lose a significant amount of time off of their offseasons as well. However, this plan gets the league on track to return to its typical October-June schedule for the 2020-21 plan, and ensures that as much revenue as possible will be preserved even as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.
While the season’s schedule is now mostly set, there are still details being worked out. The two sides are still working on a financial compromise, for instance, and a final agreement on that front is not expected until next week. The latest reporting indicates that the players should expect escrow withholdings of around 18 percent.
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