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NBA, players' union still negotiating to start 2020-21 season by Christmas Day, but time is running out

NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news

NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in Saitama, near Tokyo. Credit: AP/Jae C. Hong

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association continue negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, pushing to get a deal in place that will satisfy both sides on a way to start the 2020-21 season.

According to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a call with team general managers Monday and stressed that with no timeline in place yet for a start to the season there is an increasingly smaller window to get back for the Dec. 22 start the league had hoped to implement. According to Wojnarowski, Silver told the GM’s, "We’re running out of time."

One league source said that a Board of Governor’s meeting is expected to be held Thursday, one day ahead of the deadline for the NBA and NBPA to agree on a new CBA. With television network partners hoping to have the league start-up in time for a Christmas Day show and the league having an interest in the early start which would allow a 72-game schedule and still finishing up in time to allow players to participate in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, reality still is intruding and making it harder to see it happening.

The NBA Draft is set for November 18, but little else is assured. No free agent date is set yet and no salary cap is agreed upon with the league taking a huge financial hit last season with COVID-19 causing a season suspension and the restart taking place in the Orlando bubble - with no home court revenue or fans boosting the financial take for teams.

The hope of having fans in the stands still seems as if it will not be realized at least at the start fo the season and the NBA is trying to figure out a safe way to conduct a season. If the teams start in their home arenas a source indicated that the schedule could be heavily weighted - at least early in the season - to focus on division play. That would allow teams to limit travel with the Knicks, for example, needing only to go to Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boston and wherever Toronto winds up, with Newark’s Prudential Center, the former home of the Nets, a leading possibility.

New York Sports