It appears the NBA is beginning to prepare itself to push back the start of the 2020-21 season.
Per NBA Insider Shams Charania, the league and players union have agreed to move back some important offseason dates, including the NBA Draft and the start of free agency, which were scheduled to begin on Oct. 16 and Oct. 18, respectively.
According to a league memo obtained by ESPN, Nov. 18 is being eyed as the target date for the 2020 draft. There was no mention to a potential start date for free agency.
Among the concerns about holding the draft in mid-October was that there may not be enough information on the future salary caps to conduct trades on draft night.
The league is expecting dramatic loss in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, which would affect the salary cap.
By delaying the draft, the league and union can reach an agreement on salary cap as well as negotiate other amendments into the collective bargaining agreement.
The NBA just held its draft lottery on Aug. 20 after pushing it back from its originally scheduled date in May.
With the draft and free agency being pushed back again, it is worth wondering whether or not the start of next season will also be delayed even further as rookies and free agents will need to become acclimated with their new teams.
While the NBA had not officially announced when the 2020-21 season would start, it was projected to begin some time in December.
There are also questions on how next season will be played.
NBPA executive director Michelle Roberts has previously suggested a bubble for the 2020-21 season. While the bubble format has worked for the postseason, it may be difficult to get players on board to play within a bubble for the entirety of an 82-game regular season plus playoffs.