NBA, NBPA Face Increasingly Short Window To Negotiate December 22 Start

In a call today with the league’s general managers, the NBA said there’s still no agreement in place with the National Basketball Players Association on a timeline for the 2020/21 regular season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

As Wojnarowski details, talks are ongoing between the league and the players’ union, but the two sides face an increasingly short window to negotiate all the necessary details ahead of a potential December 22 start (with a possible December 1 start date for training camps). Besides agreeing on a schedule for the season, the two sides continue to work through a series of financial amendments to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (Twitter link).

[RELATED: NBA Targeting December 22 Start, 72-Game Season]

According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), commissioner Adam Silver told teams on today’s conference call, “We’re running out of time.”

Despite that ominous comment from Silver, and despite the fact that many players reportedly prefer a January 18 start, I certainly wouldn’t rule out a December 22 opening night. The NBA has estimated that postponing the start of the 2020/21 season to mid-January could cost the league upwards of $500MM to $1 billion in revenue next season and beyond. Lost revenue is bad news for the players as well as the league, so the NBPA has plenty of incentive to figure out how to make the earlier start date work.

The NBA and NBPA pushed back the CBA termination deadline for a fourth time last week, setting a deadline of this Friday, November 6. If the two sides can agree to most of the major CBA details by that date, a pre-Christmas start still seems realistic. If that deadline has to be postponed yet again, that may not bode well for the December 22 target date.

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17 thoughts on “NBA, NBPA Face Increasingly Short Window To Negotiate December 22 Start

  1. ppyxmb

    Compromise: teams that were not in the bubble start on 22nd dec, get some more exposure and all bubble teams join on Jan 15th or whatever. Either they just have a more condensed schedule or they play 64 games and the December starters play 72 gms and final standings are just based on % not #W. That’d be interesting, though slightly messy, wouldn’t it?

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      So people will want to watch the Cavs, Wolves, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, Hornets, and Warriors on Christmas? I don’t think so.

      • Sillivan

        In 2019 Christmas
        Rockets were blown out by Warriors
        G-League player
        Rookies – 28th pick, second round picks and undrafted
        Vet Min Players

        It is good to see Warriors vs Lakers on Christmas Day.

      • x%sure

        Who cares what you want? You would watch Rocket intrasquad scrimmages every day if you could, mumbling curses against the fans of other teams for not doing the exact same.

    • jasonbourne23

      Can’t do. Owners care about money while players care about injuries and then money. Go with the players, but they may get paid less. How much less? There’s the rub.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      This is why splitting the league into 2 groups to finish this season was a knuckleheaded idea. The playoff teams are crying they’re tired, even though as someone already pointed out they didn’t play that much. Jan 18 forces the bubble teams to go nearly a year without playing games, which is completely unfair for development.

      I’d stagger the start and sorta go with your idea. Why not? Everything is a mess, anyway. This shouldn’t be the LeBroN-BA.

  2. Bubble teams just played 10 to 20 games in 10 weeks… Lakers load managed the last 8 before PO … 14 weeks after an asterisk trophee they cannot hoop ??

    Nets x warriors for Xmas ⭐

    • implant

      Load management isn’t in the Lakers vocab. That would be the kids on the other side of the isle

  3. Bubble teams just played 10 to 20 games in 10 weeks… Lakers load managed the last 8 before PO … 14 weeks after an asterisk trophee they cannot hoop ??

    Nets x warriors for Xmas ⭐

  4. DeathbyDeathwest

    I like the idea of staggering the scheduling for late-bubble teams.

    However, if you’re in a “camp” that is dead-set on a mid-Janurary start, you still have plenty of time to negotiate the start date…

  5. stevep-4

    Just start the season on MLK day, run through July, sell the players on the social justice element, shorten the season and pro-rate contractual obligations.

    If the players don’t want to start earlier, they are not going to, it is pointless to argue about it. The Delete 8 can have an extended exhibition season that starts whenever they want, and ends when the regular season starts.

    More important is setting dates for trade deadlines and free agency so that teams plan their roster moves.

    • x%sure

      What about players that want to start up, which is probably most players? Keep them sidelined until Lebron wants to get ready for the playoffs? And Lebron knows that the #1 Laker RS record did not mean much for the playoffs.

      Doing justice would point decision-makers in the right direction but they only see black and white and only one of them matters.

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