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Report: NBPA approves Dec. 22 start date for 2020-21 season

The NBA will be back sooner than we thought with a start before Christmas Day. The season will last 72 games and be finished before the Olympics.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addresses the media prior to the game of the Miami Heat against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game one of the 2020 NBA Finals as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on September 30, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBPA have reached a tentative agreement with the NBA Board of Governors on the proposed start date of Dec. 22 for the 2020-21 season, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported late Thursday night. There will be a 72-game season with a Christmas Day slate. The players had been pushing for a start on Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to give for more rest in between seasons. The 2020 playoffs ended in early October.

There had been reports that Dec. 1 would be the start of training camp if the Dec. 22 start date was approved. The 2020 NBA Draft is set for Wednesday, Nov. 18, while NBA free agency would likely begin right after on Nov. 20-21. With the short turnaround between seasons, it’s unclear if everyone will be available to play at the start of 2020-21.

Los Angeles Lakers SG Danny Green went on a podcast produced by The Ringer stating that he didn’t think all the players would be ready for a Dec. 22 start. He specifically mentioned LeBron James as one of those players who might sit out games early on in the season to rest. The Lakers won the title last season on Oct. 11. That would mean a little over two months before the next season begins. Normally teams have from the end of June until late October between seasons.

Shams has some more details on the start of next season on his Twitter timeline. One of the more notable reports is that the salary cap will be set at $109 million this offseason. This isn’t any different from last season, so there won’t be any changes there. Salary escrow is expected to jump up to 17-18 percent the next two seasons before normalizing at 10 percent in 2022-23.