The NBA will reportedly delay a number of key dates involving the upcoming offseason and start of next season.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have agreed to push back a series of key dates pertaining to the upcoming league offseason and start of next year, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
The league and NBPA have reportedly agreed to delay the NBA draft, which was previously set for Oct. 16; the start of free agency, which was currently set to begin Oct. 18; and the start of the 2020–21 season, which was currently set for early December.
No specifics about new dates have been reported. However, The Athletic reported that the draft will still take place in October.
The 2019–20 season is currently set to end in mid-October.
The delay isn’t entirely surprising as NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that the December 1 start was “feeling a little bit early to me,” adding that a later start might be able to increase the likelihood of fans attending games.
Silver told Sports Illustrated‘s Chris Mannix in an Aug. 13 story that, “We are deep into the planning stages, but only to the extent that we have dozens of permutations as we look into next season. It’s certainly not bubble or bust. Our first and highest priority would be to find a way to have fans in our arenas.
“We would like to find a way to play in front of fans, but it’s just too early to know how realistic this is.”