After a few weeks of debate, it looks like the NBA is officially coming back on Dec. 22.
ESPN story on NBPA vote to accept a December 22 start and reduced 72-game schedule for 2020-2021 NBA season: https://t.co/6trdpRe5la— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 6, 2020
From Woj’s story:
The National Basketball Players Association board of representatives voted Thursday night to approve a plan for a Dec. 22 start to the season that includes a reduced 72-game schedule, clearing the way for the league and union to finalize details on the 2020-21 season, the NBPA announced.
The NBPA’s board of player representatives voted to approve the pre-Christmas start on a conference call with NBPA executive director Michele Roberts, sources said. The NBA and NBPA are planning to discuss the opening of free agency as quickly as possible after the Nov. 18 NBA draft to accommodate player movement with such a short window to the opening of training camps on Dec. 1, sources said.
In a statement, the NBPA said: “Additional details remain to be negotiated and the NBPA is confident that the parties will reach agreement on these remaining issues relevant to the upcoming season.”
So that’s awesome! Of course, we already knew that the draft was fast approaching (“fast” being a relative term for a non-bubble team that’s now in month eight of the offseason), but seeing as the 2020 draft technically counts as the 2019-20 league year, we now know when the 2020-21 league year, including an extremely abbreviated free agency and training camp period, will start.
A few other things came up in regards to the season. For one, teams are hoping to set up safe ways for fans to get back into games:
Sources: The NBA aims to have arena suites open to fans at 25-to-50 percent capacity for 2020-21 season tipoff, based on local regulations. An amount of fans — under protocols such as masks, social distancing and coronavirus testing — is a goal to start season.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 5, 2020
There was also some clarification about the cap going forward:
Per league sources, the salary cap and luxury tax are expected to remain flat at their 2019-20 marks for the 2020-21 season.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) November 6, 2020
From there they will rise by a limited amount (expected to be 2%) each subsequent year, until revenues have recovered enough to use standard BRI formula.
Considering the cap was originally projected to rise almost $5 million for 2020-21 and perhaps in even higher increments going forward, that’s a pretty significant development for the Knicks. That could (potentially) mean a more robust salary dump market, but also a more dangerous one, with little salary cap growth available in the future to offset the cost of taking on undesirable contracts in the present.
The Knicks should still also have the second-most cap space in the league behind the Hawks, and perhaps a depressed market could land them someone like Christian Wood on the cheap this offseason. No matter what, it sounds like we might have all the answers we seek about the Knicks’ offseason by the end of this month.