The NBA Board of Governors and Commissioner Adam Silver held a conference call Friday to discuss the idea of delaying some key dates heading into the offseason, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The NBA Draft is set for Friday, October 16th, while free agency would open shortly after with the 2020-21 season beginning some time in early December. Silver commented on those dates before the draft lottery on Thursday, saying that those may be a bit early.
The NBA Playoffs have been going on all week and everything has been running smoothly in the bubble. The issue with next season is that the bubble format is only really viable with fewer teams and in the playoff setup. Having all 30 teams in a bubble for an entire season, normally runs from late October until the middle of Summer, just isn’t feasible. Players would be away from their families for way too long. So it seems the NBA is looking into pushing the start date of next season back.
The NBA’s No. 1 goal, per Silver, is to get games back with fans in the stadium. If that is the case, there’s no chance that will happen in December. The tentative date for the start of 2020-21 is December 1st. That will likely move back, possibly into early 2021. Free Agency was set to begin after the draft on October 18th. That could be pushed back several weeks, per Woj’s report.
At this point, the League has clearly lost a lot due to the pandemic. The good thing is the bubble has worked almost flawlessly, so maybe there’s a route for multiple bubbles to be sparked up. The League has also been involved in the saliva testing for Covid-19, which could become very useful throughout the country soon. If that is the case and testing becomes easier and more accessible, the NBA could get pushed back for the better. The more time the country has to deal with the pandemic and get things back to normal, the better off the 2020-21 season will be.