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NBA to move forward with December 22 start date for 2020-2021 season

Free agency, the draft and any type of training camp will be held between Nov. 18 and Dec. 21.

2020 NBA Finals - Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Under a month ago the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers played Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals. Now within two months, the league will likely restart as the NBPA has approved the league’s proposal for a December 22 start.

The two things to note about the proposal is that A) it includes just 72 games, not the normal 82 and B) it has been tentatively approved as a number of things could still go wrong.

That said, the Lakers and Heat will have an offseason that’s under three months with all the bubble teams have a much-shorted time to rest. That said, the news was first broken by The Athletic and Stadium reporter Shams Charania.

This is going to make for an absolutely insane month between the NBA Draft and the start of the season. Typically there’s about five months between the two. If approved, there will be less than 40 days separating the draft and the season’s commencement.

Think about the impact this will have on free agency and how quickly teams will have to figure out their direction under the new salary cap.

It’s going to be difficult for everyone as players won’t get quality preparation time with their new teammates and general managers may not have the time they need to adequately forecast how players may fit in with their new teams.

There also won’t be as much time for offseason trades as the league will swiftly move into the new season.

It’s easy to understand why they’d move through with this. If they move it back to an early spring or late January start, the loss of revenue would be drastic. Players would lose out on a chunk of their salary which is why they approved pushing through this proposal.

With Covid-19 still running rampant in the United State, doing this without a bubble and without numerous infections won’t be an easy task for the NBA, a league that’s been a prime example of how to play sports during the pandemic.