The National Basketball Players Association has tentatively approved the proposal made by NBA owners for a 72-game season slated to start December 22nd. The proposed schedule for league operations will allow for training camps to open on December 1st. The NBA is expected to have its usual slate of Christmas Day games as part of its opening slate of action. There are also some issues to be worked out regarding free-agency period as that may perhaps overlap with the start of teams training camps.
For teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, this makes their off season only two months long. The Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets also will suffer from a seriously diminished off-season compared to other franchises. This plan was initially rejected by players but was turned around because there was an emphasis placed on bringing the league as close to normal operations as possible so as to generate the most amount of revenue, to which the players will receive an escrow share of 18%, down from their usual of 49%.
The league salary cap for the 2020-21 season will remain at the $109.14 million per team that was the same rate in the 2019-20 season. It was projected to be $125 million, though with the loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic the new season and even the 2021-22 season will now be adjusted as its expected to only raise to $115 million for that year as the league and its franchises work to recoup lost finances.
The NBA College Draft is still expected to be held in 13 days on November 18th, with the restrictions on transfers and other transactions to be removed either on draft day or shortly after the conclusion of the draft, which may see teams bring players to camp as non-roster invitees for the purpose of processing them through medical testing before they even have time to complete their free agency agreements.
The NBA was hoping to get back to its normal October to June schedule this year however after losing 4 months due to the COVID-19 shutdown.