Although the National Basketball Players Association is expected to approve the NBA’s return-to-play plan, a long list of financial, competitive, and scheduling details need to be negotiated for the 2020/21 season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). As Wojnarowski details, most of the new dates shared and/or confirmed today – such as August 25 for the draft lottery and October 15 for the draft – are still considered tentative for the time being.
Meanwhile, Wojnarowski passed along several more “preliminary expectations” on how the schedule will work this summer in Orlando. According to Woj (via Twitter), there will be a 16-day regular season, with five or six games played each day. Each team is expected to play one back-to-back set within its eight regular season games, while the NBA Finals will feature games every other day.
Here’s more on the NBA’s restart:
- NBPA executive director Michele Roberts admitted she was caught off guard by the NBA’s aggressive turnaround plan between this season and next, writes Wojnarowski. The league is tentative targeting November 10 for opening training camps for next season, with December 1 tentatively penciled in to be opening night. The NBA Finals may not end until October 12, meaning a couple teams could get less than a month off. “I was surprised to see it,” Roberts told ESPN. As Woj notes, the NBPA will have to sign off on changes to the league’s calendar, so those dates aren’t set in stone yet.
- Tim Bontemps and Brian Windhorst of ESPN have published a helpful primer on the NBA’s return, sharing details on where games will actually be played at Disney (The Arena, HP Field House, and Visa Athletic Center) and how often the league plans to test individuals inside the bubble for COVID-19 (daily, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne).
- In a wide-ranging look at the NBA’s restart, Sam Amick of The Athletic cites sources who say that the eight games teams will play before the postseason this summer will all count toward those clubs’ regional sports network TV deals. That’s significant from a financial perspective — Amick notes that the Lakers make approximately $1.5MM per game from their deal with Spectrum SportsNet, while even the lower-end deals net about $200K per game.