It only took 13 months, an unprecedented Disney World bubble and remarkable buy-in from players willing to temporarily relocate away from their families, but the 2019-20 NBA season is officially complete. The Los Angeles Lakers are your 2020 NBA champions after defeating the Miami Heat, closing the book on the longest season in NBA history.
However, the league's work is never done, and now, an arguably more daunting task is at hand: Getting the NBA back on its typical October-June schedule. The league office and ownership are being aggressive on that front, planning for an incredibly short offseason in the hopes of getting the NBA back to normal in time for the 2021-22 season. The goal now is for both the NBA and NBPA to reach an agreement on a starting date for this upcoming season, which hasn't been a simple task so far.
Below is the schedule of the events involving the upcoming NBA Draft and everything else leading up to the 2020-21 campaign.
Upcoming NBA schedule
- Sept. 28: Beginning of Draft Combine (through early-to-mid November)
- Oct. 16-Nov. 16: Teams can begin to conduct in-person interviews with draft prospects
- Nov. 18: 2020 NBA Draft
- Nov. 20-22: Proposed start of free agency
- Dec. 1: Proposed start date to begin training camps for 2020-21 season
- Dec. 22: Proposed opening night for 2020-21 season
Those last three dates are not set in stone. Negotiations between the NBA and the NBPA are ongoing, but the league is pushing hard for an early start date on Dec. 22. That would reportedly force training camps to open around Dec. 1. The beginning of free agency is more fluid. Teams are preparing as if it could begin as early as Nov. 20, but there is some leeway within that projection. So long as the early portion of free agency is finished in time for the beginning of training camp, there is no exact date in place.
While opening night for the upcoming season is still undecided, the league and the players' union did agree that players would receive an eight-week notice ahead of when the new season would start. This gives players two months to get back into shape ahead of training camps and preseason games, if those are still part of the plan. With the 2019-20 season safely completed, the league will shift focus on its short-term future, with some very important decisions still on the table.