The bubble experience is over.
For the 14th consecutive season, the Kings have missed the NBA playoffs. Following Thursday morning’s season finale 136-122 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Kings head directly to the airport and abandon the Disney World campus. That has been their home for the last five weeks and fly home to begin the offseason.
What lies ahead is the unknown. Will the Kings make an adjustment to their front office or coaching staff? Will they be active on the trade front and what do they do with all of their own free agents?
While there are plenty of questions hanging over the franchise, here is a quick rundown of the important dates that are just on the horizon.
Aug. 15-16: NBA play-in game(s).
Aug. 17: Early entry deadline for draft eligible prospects. This is the last day for prospects to enter the NBA Draft.
Aug. 17: NBA playoffs begin from the Orlando bubble.
Aug. 20: NBA Draft Lottery.
The NBA moved the draft lottery up to Aug. 20, which should give teams a window to really dig into the draft portion of the offseason. The league will revert records back to March 11 for the 14 lottery bound teams.
The Kings are currently tied with the Pelicans for the No. 12/13 spot in the lottery. The two teams will have almost the same lottery odds, but a coin flip will be held to determine who gets the higher of the two lottery positions.
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Aug. 31: Conference Semifinals begin.
Sept. 15: Conference Finals begin.
Sept. 30: NBA Finals begin.
Oct. 6: Last day to withdraw from the NBA Draft.
Oct. 13: NBA Finals conclude (If Game 7 is necessary).
Oct. 16: NBA Draft.
Oct. 17 (3 PM PT): Final day for player/team options to be exercised.
Oct. 17: Final day for teams to extend Qualifying Offer to eligible players.
Oct. 17: Nemanja Bjelica’s $7.2 million contract with Kings becomes guaranteed.
Oct. 18 (3 PM PT) - NBA Free Agent negotiation period begins.
Oct. 18 - De’Aaron Fox becomes eligible for rookie scale extension.
Oct. 19-23 - NBA Free Agent moratorium period.
Oct. 23 (9 AM PT) - NBA Free Agency officially begins. Players can sign contracts, trades can be completed, offer sheets can be submitted.
Dec. 1 - Start of 2020-21 season. This is a tentative date that is likely to move back, at least a few weeks and as much as a month or two depending on a myriad of coronavirus related concerns.
This is all a whirlwind of action that could still have some adjustments. If the season start date holds at Dec. 1, Media Day will likely happen in the first week of November with training camp starting the next day. Preseason might be condensed slightly to allow teams more recovery time, but then it’s right back to the grind, whether that’s in Orlando or back to home arenas, with or without fans.