Junior Bridgeman

Goodwill’s Latest: ’20/21 Schedule, Holiday, Nuggets, Raptors

The NBA is eyeing Martin Luther King Day (January 18) as a potential start date for the 2020/21 regular season, sources tell Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. According to Goodwill, the league still isn’t ruling out the possibility of a Christmas Day start, but recognizes that MLK Day may be a more realistic target, especially if it wants to have any chance of getting fans back in arenas for opening night.

There’s no guarantee that the season will start by January 18, but the NBA would like to get back to its typical October-to-June calendar for the 2021/22 season if possible, says Goodwill. The league will give teams and players eight weeks of notice before the start of next season.

Here’s more from Goodwill:

  • It remains to be seen whether the Pelicans will seriously consider trading Jrue Holiday this offseason, but many teams think trimming salary will be a priority for New Orleans, per Goodwill, and if Holiday’s available, he’s expected to be a popular target. Sources tell Yahoo Sports that about 10 teams have inquired on the veteran guard, with the Nuggets expected to be his most aggressive suitors.
  • One issue the NBA will have to resolve for the 2020/21 season is where the Raptors will play if teams return to their respective home arenas. Assuming there are still restrictions in place on travel between the U.S. and Canada by the time the NBA season begins, the team could end up sharing another NBA market or even playing in Louisville, says Goodwill. The city of Louisville has an NBA-ready arena, and businessman and former NBA player Junior Bridgeman has been in contact with the league about the possibility, Goodwill adds.
  • The Raptors’ situation is one of a handful of items to be discussed on a Board of Governors call this Friday, along with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and competitive formats for next season, Goodwill writes.

Bucks Notes: Ownership, Hammond, Drew

New Bucks owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry have met with candidates to buy minority shares in the team, and they hope to add five to 10 new investors, reports Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Former Bucks player Junior Bridgeman and Milwaukee businessman Ted Kellner are candidates, Walker hears, and Lasry acknowledged Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s desire to get in the mix, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. Here’s more on the Bucks and the rest of the Central Division:

  • Edens appears to have assumed the role of primary owner, as he’ll represent the Bucks on the Board of Governors, Gardner notes (Twitter link).
  • Edens and Lasry spoke of their support for GM John Hammond and coach Larry Drew, but the owners stopped short of guaranteeing their long-term futures with the club, Journal Sentinel scribe Charles F. Gardner reports. Edens said previously that Hammond will remain with the Bucks at least through the draft.
  • The Bucks will work out a handful of big man prospects tomorrow, including former Marquette standout Davante Gardner, per Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times (Twitter link).

Ryan Raroque contributed to this post. 

Central Notes: Irving, Billups, Bucks

Kyrie Irving denies that he wants out of Cleveland, but those close to him have long made it known that he’d like to play elsewhere, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Some members of the Cavs organization aren’t sure that he’s deserving of a maximum-salary contract, though it’s likely that Cleveland will seek to extend Irving this summer and make him its Designated Player, Windhorst writes. The starting salary in such a deal would have to be for the max. Irving may prefer to sign a shorter deal that gives him the ability to opt out and hit unrestricted free agency more quickly, as Windhorst examines in a piece that looks forward to what promises to be one of the offseason’s marquee story lines. Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Chauncey Billups hopes to make it back from a torn left meniscus this season, but he acknowledges the injury may prompt him to retire, MLive’s David Mayo observes. The Pistons hold a team option worth $2.5MM for the final season of their contract with Billups next year.
  • Former Bucks swingman Junior Bridgeman is interested in buying a minority stake in the team, reports Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel, who adds that the Bucks are high on the idea, too. Owner Herb Kohl has been seeking investors willing to buy minority shares of the team. Bridgeman owns a share of the Kings that he would have to divest before buying into the Bucks.
  • Mike D’Antoni spoke to Pacers assistant coach Nate McMillan about a gig on the Lakers staff before he took his job with Indiana, as McMillan tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.