For quite some time, rumblings have existed that the NBA could push back the start of the 2020-21 season. NBA commissioner Adam Silver, as part of a televised interview on Aug. 20, indicated that the original target date of Dec. 1 was “feeling a little bit early” and, in the ensuing days, speculation has only increased in volume.
On Thursday, Shams Charania of The Athletic shed further light, reporting that the NBA informed its Board of Governors that the upcoming season will not begin until at least Christmas Day.
NBA’s league office informed Board of Governors today that the 2020-21 season won’t begin earlier than Christmas Day, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Nov. 18 Draft date, 20-21 start date remain fluid.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 10, 2020
As noted above, this comes as no surprise, especially when considering the likelihood of further delays to the NBA’s key offseason dates. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that the league is now targeting Nov. 18 for the 2020 NBA Draft, pushing back more than a month from the current date of Oct. 16. It is important to note that the Nov. 18 date is not set in stone but, regardless, all indications are that the draft and free agency won’t be occurring in mid-October.
Negotiations will be ongoing between the NBA and NBPA on a number of factors, from scheduling to salary cap ramifications. From the perspective of the Atlanta Hawks, however, it is now a virtual certainty that the team will not take part in a regular season game for more than nine months.
That is, of course, uncharted territory in the modern history of the league, leaving a lot to the imagination for how things may play out in the coming days. The Hawks will begin a set of voluntary group workouts at their team facility later in September but, in terms of the rest of the NBA calendar, uncertainty is the word of the day.