clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Key dates for the 2020-21 NBA Season

New, comment

Save the date.

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Danny Bollinger/NBAE via Getty Images

It may feel like the NBA season just ended (it did), but a new one is already here.

It initially seemed like the NBA would hold off on beginning a new season until March, or at least until arenas could safely hold a large number of fans. Now, the NBA has ditched that idea, accelerated it’s timeline and is beginning the 2020-21 season in just over a month.

Do you feel like you’ll have no idea how to keep up in a compact, fast-pace off-season? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what to circle on your calendar.

All dates are tentative and were reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on the morning of November 15 unless otherwise noted.


November 16 (yes, today) at Noon ET: The moratorium is lifted and trades can begin to be executed.


November 18: The 2020 NBA Draft.


December 11-19: The preseason begins with teams given the option of requesting three or four games to play, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. Teams must play one preseason game at home.


December 22: The NBA’s Opening night for it’s 72-game season.


March 5-10: The All-star Break will take place, but with no All-Star Game in Indianapolis.


May 16: The regular season ends.


May 17-21: The playoff play-in tournament begins*. It’s a similar style to what we saw in the bubble, with the seventh and eights seeds only needing one win to stay in playoffs and the ninth and tenth seeds needing two to get a spot.

*The Board of Governors has not yet approved this, although it sounds likely.


May 22: The first round of the playoffs begin.


June 7: Conference semifinals.


June 22: Conference Finals.


July 8-22: NBA Finals.


July 23: The 2020 Summer Olympics begin in Tokyo.


Things are going to start moving very quickly, beginning today. Enjoy the offseason drama while it lasts — we’ll be watching basketball again very soon.