UPDATE: Nov. 4, 4:34 p.m. — The NBA players are moving toward ratifying the NBA’s plan of a Dec. 22 start date to the season and Dec. 1 start to training camp, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported late Wednesday. It appears a vote will take place and a decision is expected to be made by the end of the week. The deadline is Friday.
NBA Voting Update: All the momentum on the player side today indicates that the union, through a vote of team player representatives, is poised to ratify the NBA's plan to open training camps Dec. 1 and start the 2020-21 season Dec. 22 by week's end— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 4, 2020
UPDATE: Nov. 4, 2:28 p.m. — The NBA is expected to hold a Board of Governors meeting on Thursday to update teams on where they are in terms of a Dec. 22 start date, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Reporting w/ @ZachLowe_NBA: NBA has Thursday meeting of Board of Governors that will share latest w/ teams on progress toward reaching deal for pre-Christmas start to season. NBPA/team reps meeting as soon as Thursday PM, expected to get a consensus on approving a Dec. 22 tip.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 4, 2020
Woj has some more details. Teams are being informed about a Dec. 1 start to training camp followed by three preseason games. before the season begins on Dec. 22. There’s also discussion on a salary escrow for players in the 18 percent range over the next two years.
The NBPA is holding team calls today, sharing with players details of a proposed agreement with NBA that includes a Dec. 1 start to camps, three preseason games and discussions on a salary escrow for players in the range of 18 percent for the next two years, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 4, 2020
UPDATE: Nov. 3, 5:34 p.m. — The NBPA and NBA will vote on the December 22nd start date and 72-game season as soon as Thursday, Shams Charania reported late Tuesday evening. The growing belief is that this will inevitably pass and the season will start before Christmas Day.
The NBA had hopes of starting the 2020-21 season in December, before Christmas Day in an attempt to generate revenue. That hope is slowly fading as the NBA and NBPA have yet to come to a decision on a start date for next season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday. The deadline to terminate the CBA was extended to Nov. 6 after the two sides couldn’t figure things out last week.
The NBA wants to start the season on Dec. 22 so that the League can generate additional revenue from TV rights for the Christmas Day games. The earlier start would also give the League a 72-game season, which means millions more dollars from broadcasts and advertising. If the NBA starts the season in January, like the players want, there’s a 50-game season on the table but at the cost of $500 million to $1 billion in revenue. The deadline for the two to come to a decision is Friday. That would be less than two weeks before the 2020 NBA Draft on Nov. 18, mind you.
The issue is the players don’t want to start the season after just wrapping up the 2019-20 season in early October. The quick turnaround gives most players who participated in the NBA bubble and postseason very little time for an offseason. The quick start also shrinks the window for free agency to take place. It will give unrestricted and restricted free agents less time to make a decision on their future before training camp would need to begin.
Woj also reported something interesting if the League does start late. Apparently, they’ll try to generate additional revenue through being purveyors of death (not really). They’d just be expanding guidelines on sports gambling, hard alcohol sales and casino gambling in an attempt to create around $80-100 million in additional revenue. That was more of a “Thank You For Smoking” reference but it’s still a little eye-opening.