Following the late finish for the last NBA season on account of the pandemic, the league is reportedly looking to get the next season off the ground soon.
As per the Athletic and Stadium NBA insider Shams Charania, sources say the NBA is hoping to start the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22. The schedule will supposedly feature a 72-game campaign, with it all wrapping up before the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo on July 23. While it's not quite the league's usual schedule, it is closer to the typical timeframe than it was during the NBA bubble season, which only came to an end this month.
The NBA's league office reportedly informed the Board of Governors of the plan on Friday.
Sources similarly told ESPN senior NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski that the league is currently holding conversations regarding the next season, with anywhere between 70 to 72 games expected. A play-in tournament during the season is also expected, sources stated.
There's been a lot of speculation regarding the schedule for the next NBA season due to the delayed end to the 19-20 season. It's starting to look likely that less than 82 games will take place for 20-21, although whether the games will be held in front of fans remains to be seen. "The goal for us next season is to play a standard season, 82-game season and playoffs," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said just last month. "In home arenas, in front of fans."
As we've all come to learn over the past year, though, plans often need to be flexible in the COVID-19 era. It is expected that Oct. 30 is the deadline to complete conversations regarding the next season.