NBA Players Finalizing December 22 Season Start

If all goes as expected, the Los Angeles Lakers will begin defending their title on Dec. 22.

According to ESPN sources, the NBA’s board of governors and players’ association are expected to agree on the start date and a 72-game season Thursday.

The NBPA will take a formal vote and are also expected to discuss salary escrow for players in the 18% range for the next two years, said ESPN sources.

Organizations and players are working towards a quick turnaround due to the rapidly approaching date.

Plans would have the NBA draft held Nov. 18 and free agency and training camps starting Dec. 1.

League officials have been pushing for the December start date in hopes of finishing before the Summer

Olympics, which start mid-July and retaining $500 to $1 billion in short- and long-term revenue.

The NBA and NBPA are addressing players’ escrow in hopes of easing the impact of severe loss in league revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic, spreading out losses over multiple seasons.

Though Silver had hoped to have fans in arenas for the start of the 2020-21 season, the resurgence of COVID-19 rates across the country will probably undermine those hopes.