The NBA formally announced the agreed-upon terms for the start of the 2020-21 season late Monday night, which included firm dates for several key offseason events.
As previously reported, December 22nd will act as opening night, and the season will consist of 72 games, as opposed to the traditional 82. The most anticipated new information that came out in the NBA and NBPA’s joint press release shared yesterday was the declaration of free agency opening up on November 20th! Official signings can then take place two days later on November 22nd (not that we expect the Bulls to be overly active, given their cap limitations).
NBA and NBPA announce agreement for start to season, free agency and release financials. Bulls project to be an over-the-cap team with exceptions to work free agency should they choose. pic.twitter.com/LUOXcVULPh
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 10, 2020
In other major news, the league has hammered home several important financial terms. The salary cap sits at $109.1 million with the luxury tax set at $132.6 million. Both numbers remain the same as the 2019-20 season, and that became an expected resolution over the past couple of months. The league wants to cut their losses over the multiple seasons instead of risk a major dip (and then major leap) in the cap. Put even more simply, keeping things steady will cause the least amount of issues moving forward.
The NBPA and NBA also had extensive conversations about the escrow system, which ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports will remain fluid over the next couple of seasons:
“The typical escrow withholding of 10% will remain in place. If there is a need to reduce player salaries by more than that 10%, that loss will be spread out over that season, as well as the following two — and players can never have more than 20% of their salary withheld in a single season. The hope on both sides is that future seasons will see the league be able to return to normal financial footing as the pandemic subsides.”
All things considered, that’s a win for players. But – don’t worry – owners got a win of their own in the revised CBA. In 2021 there will be a reduction in the luxury tax bill (which will be determined based on the percent decrease in basketball-related income), and that will surely save some current high-paying teams a lot of money.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks puts the whole thing in perspective …
For example: If Golden State used the $17.2M trade exception and revenue decreased by 30%, they could save close to $50M.
This will help out the Warriors, Boston, Brooklyn and Philadelphia plus possibly a team like Milwaukee. https://t.co/uxII5oQXzl
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 10, 2020
So, to sum it all up, this is what we’re looking at right now:
• TBD (But prior to draft) – Moratorium lifted on transactions (includes trades and player/team options).
• November 18th – NBA Draft
• November 20th – Free agency negotiations can start
• November 22nd –Free agency signings can begin
• December 1st – Training Camp
• TBD – Preseason games
• December 22nd – Let the fun begin!
I hope you’re ready for a busy next couple of months. I know I am!