NBA aiming to start 2020-21 season on Dec. 22: report

Reported details on next NBA season, targeted start date originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The NBA is reportedly aiming to fit quite a lot of offseason activity into a relatively short period of time.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Friday that the NBA’s league office told the Board of Governors that it’s targeting a Dec. 22 start date for next season. Charania also reports that the league would like to play a 72-game schedule, finish the season before the 2021 Olympics and have teams play in their home markets. The National Basketball Players Association would have to approve the Dec. 22 start date.

This past season was shortened because of the coronavirus pandemic and concluded in a “bubble” at Disney World. The Sixers played 73 regular-season games and just four postseason contests as the team was swept by the Celtics in the first round.

Any modifications to a typical schedule would be of interest to the Sixers, who have to consider the issue of load management with Joel Embiid and the fact that Ben Simmons suffered a season-ending left knee injury in August. New head coach Doc Rivers is already very familiar with the challenges posed by load management, and he may have to approach that area differently than usual if there are fewer games and changes in travel and rest day norms.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the NBA and Board of Governors discussed a schedule similar to teams playing series against each other in baseball to limit travel. The All-Star Game is a “potential casualty” for next season, per Wojnarowski. 

It’s uncertain whether fans would be cleared to attend games at any point during the 2020-21 season. A limited number of Eagles fans were recently permitted to return to Lincoln Financial Field. The Sixers had the NBA’s best home-court advantage last season, losing just twice at Wells Fargo Center. 

The NBA draft is set for Nov. 18, while the beginning of free agency has yet to be determined. The Sixers own pick No. 21 in the draft and four second-round selections. 

They’re set to be over the luxury tax threshold and thus have minimal flexibility in free agency. Executive vice president of basketball operations Peter Dinwiddie and VP of player personnel Prosper Karangwa are two recent hires to the team’s reshuffled front office. 

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Published: 2020-10-23 19:15:41

Tags: #NBA #aiming #start #season #Dec #report

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