Although it may have taken longer than expected, the NBA and NBPA were finally able to come to an agreement to begin the 2020-21 season on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
The truncated offseason has presented a unique set of challenges for players and teams alike with free agency rapidly approaching on Friday. The transactions window opened Monday morning, and was followed shortly after by a reported Chris Paul trade between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Phoenix Suns.
The Thunder and Lakers were previously reported as having agreed to a Dennis Schroder trade, with Danny Green and the No. 28 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft headed to Oklahoma City. Players changing teams will have a quick turnaround as training camps are slated to open Dec. 1.
That will then give way to preseason games, which according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, teams can decided whether to play three or four exhibitions during a nine-game span:
Sources: The NBA is targeting Dec. 11-19 for 2020-21 preseason and teams have the option of requesting three or four games. Each team must host at least one home game.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 14, 2020
Although the league has an outline for the upcoming season mapped out, there are still a number of questions that still have yet to be answered. Given the circumstances of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there is plenty of speculation regarding the logistics of how teams would travel to play each other.
Meanwhile, the NBPA already had some frustration with the lack of down time in between the conclusion of last season and the start of the 2020-21 campaign. With such a quick turnaround, it is safe to say that many of the league’s star players may not be taking part in most of the preseason.
Teams that managed to make a deep playoff run in the Orlando bubble will likely take a cautious approach with their key players in these meaningless exhibition games. It will also give those that missed out on the trip to Florida a chance to finally compete since the season was shut down in March.
NBA motivated by financial implications
Although commissioner Adam Silver once identified January as a likely timeframe to start the 2020-21 NBA season, that was moved up to pre-Christmas of this year due to the possibility of losing up to $1 billion in revenues.
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