12:33pm: A plan to begin the season on Christmas is “gaining momentum,” sources tell Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).
12:09pm: A Christmas Day start and a shortened season are among the options being discussed as the NBA’s board of governors meets today, according to Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe of ESPN.
Although some owners have proposed starting next season on Christmas to take advantage of the league’s traditional television showcase, numerous teams contacted by the authors are skeptical that beginning so soon is realistic. Others favor Martin Luther King Day in mid-January, which is also normally filled with televised games.
Commissioner Adam Silver said last month that preserving an 82-game schedule is important, but it appears that might be flexible. Some members of the board of governors are considering a smaller number, and some want to delay the season until more fans can be let into arenas. Tournaments and play-in scenarios remain on the agenda, as the league is planning to use the upcoming season to experiment with more ways of creating revenue.
October 30 appears to be a date to watch, Windhorst and Lowe add. It’s the deadline that the league and the players association have set to wrap up any changes to the collective bargaining agreement for next season and it falls roughly eight weeks before Christmas. Silver has promised the union that he will provide eight weeks of notice before the start of next season.
A source described talks with the NBPA as “productive” in adjusting 2020/21 salary cap and luxury tax thresholds to account for financial setbacks caused by the pandemic. Talks continue on additional escrow taken from player’s salaries as both sides are waiting for full audits on basketball-related income. Teams are hoping an agreement with the union will be reached soon to provide definite numbers on the cap and tax heading into next month’s draft and the eventual start of free agency.