In addition to rescheduling the 2020 draft to October 15, the NBA also informed the Board of Governors today that it’s targeting October 18 for the start of free agency, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).
Assuming that date – and others that have been reported this week – are accurate, the 2020 free agent period – which will headlined by the likes of Anthony Davis and Brandon Ingram, among others – could begin just six days after the NBA Finals end. That would represent the start of an extremely abridged 2020 offseason.
As Charania details, the NBA is tentatively targeting November 10 for the opening of 2020/21 training camps and December 1 for next season’s opening night.
Typically, there’s more than a three-month gap between the end of the NBA Finals and the start of training camps, and approximately a four-month gap between the end of the Finals and the start of next season. Based on Charania’s report, that timeline would shrink drastically this year, with teams in the Finals potentially getting less than a month off before reporting to camp for the new season.
It’s worth noting that while the NBA’s plan received Board of Governors approval today, the National Basketball Players Association hasn’t signed off on every aspect of it, so that shortened offseason may receive some push-back from players.
There had been speculation that the NBA might target Christmas Day for the start of the ’20/21 campaign, perhaps even pushing opening night into the new year. I wouldn’t assume that outcome is entirely off the table — getting fans back into arenas will be a major priority next season as the NBA looks to recoup lost revenue, so the league’s plans will likely hinge in part on whether or not local governments have loosened or lifted restrictions on mass gatherings.