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NBA, Players Association tentatively agree to a Dec. 22 start to 2020-2021 season

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The next NBA season is right around the corner.

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

After a NBA Players Association player rep vote, the NBA and NBPA have tentatively agreed to starting the 2020-2021 NBA season on Dec. 22, per multiple reports.

Next steps are ironing out the financial details for the abbreviated season and getting the rest of the off-season dates official. The NBA Draft is still on for Nov. 18 and training camp is expected to start on Dec. 1. That means there is not a lot of time for free agency and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says the NBA and NBAPA are trying to get it started as quickly as possible. This is very pertinent to the Mavericks, who are looking to get as good as they possibly can, knowing that they have an MVP candidate in Luka Doncic. One would expect this shortened free agency should see more sparks fly than the relative dud from the summer of 2019.

The 2020 NBA season ended a little under a month ago, with the Los Angeles Lakers beating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals in the NBA’s bubble to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19. That means the Lakers and Heat will get two months between the season ending and the season starting back up, roughly. The tricky part to all of this has been how to balance the teams that played deep into the bubble but also accommodate the teams that haven’t played since last season was suspended back in March. There’s also the pandemic that has shown no signs of slowing down. Originally there were reports the NBA wanted to wait for a February or March start date to see if the pandemic was getting better so there could be fans in the arenas. Unfortunately it looks like regardless of when the NBA starts, the pandemic will still be a big problem, so starting earlier at least gets the league back on track for the 2021-2022 season to be more “normal.”

All we know about how this upcoming season will look is that there will be no bubble. The NBA will need to work fast to organize how they want to play the games and if they’ll allow any fans at all into the buildings. A popular idea suggested among league officials and insiders has been adopting a baseball-style series schedule, to cut down on the travel. With 72 games to play between Dec. 22 and July, the league will have to do what they can to reduce the wear and tear on players.