We may not know for sure if the players are all in — or how many may choose to stay home — but we’ve got updated key NBA dates for the restart of the league in Orlando.
First the caveat: Everything about the NBA’s restart is still written in pencil, not pen. Details are being hammered out on the 22-team restart plan at the Walt Disney World resort complex in Orlando. Yet things are progressing, and we have an updated timeline now, thanks to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The tentative key NBA dates for 2020 schedule is:
June 21: All players report to home market
June 22: “Transaction window” opens when teams can fill out roster
June 30: Training camps begin
July 7: Teams travel to Orlando
July 31-Aug. 14: The “seeding games” begin, eight games per team
Aug. 15-16: Play-in tournaments (if needed, maximum two games back-to-back)
Aug. 17: First round of playoffs begins
Aug. 31-Sept. 13: Second round of playoffs
Sept. 15-28: Conference Finals
Sept. 30: NBA Finals begin
Oct. 13: Game 7 (if necessary)
This timeline is close to what we have seen before, but with things moved by a day or two (usually earlier). This schedule has teams playing nearly every other day, both during the “seeding games” (with one back-to-back per team) and throughout the playoffs. That includes the 2020 NBA Finals, although there are some gaps in there to allow for multiple-day breaks (the exact dates of the games are not yet public).
While players will come in rested after the coronavirus-forced break, playing every other day for a couple of months could lead to some heavy legs for veterans as the playoffs move on. It’s something to watch.
Remember these tentative Key NBA dates 2020 that impact next season:
Aug. 25: NBA Draft lottery
Oct. 15: NBA Draft
Oct. 18: Free agency begins
Nov. 10: Training camp begins for 2020-21 season
Dec. 1: Opening night
That Dec. 1 date raised eyebrows around the league — especially from players and the players’ union — and could be pushed back a few weeks. However, the league office wants to compact next season and finish close to July 1, allowing NBA players to take part in the Tokyo Olympics (assuming those take place as scheduled, starting in late July 2021).