NBPA Views December 1 Start Date For 2020/21 As “Unlikely”

The National Basketball Players Association announced today that it has approved further negotiations with the NBA on its resumption plan and various changes to the league’s calendar. However, the NBPA also told its players that it considers a December 1 start date for the 2020/21 regular season “unlikely,” reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

As we noted in our earlier story, the players’ union and the league still need to work out a number of details, with many aspects of the Collective Bargaining Agreement expected to be revisited and renegotiated.

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts has informed members that next season’s start date and “a myriad of items” will be part of the union’s negotiations with the NBA in the coming weeks, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

A November 10 training camp date and December 1 regular season tip-off date were among the most surprising details put forth by the NBA on Thursday. There’s a belief that the league hopes to start the 2020/21 season that early in part because it would allow next year’s Finals to wrap up before the Tokyo Olympics begin on July 23, 2021.

However, since this year’s NBA Finals could run as late as October 12, some players could have less than a month off if such an aggressive timeline is approved. As such, those proposed 2020/21 dates were considered tentative and subject to change even before Charania’s report this afternoon.

Details related to the league’s health and safety protocols for this summer’s restart will also need to be negotiated and finalized. A number of financial issues – including how much players are ultimately paid for 2019/20 and what the salary cap for ’20/21 will look like – will need to be addressed and resolved as well.

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