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Kings' key dates for draft, free agency, start of new season

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The NBA is back up and running and the season appears to be just around the corner.

Late-night negotiations between the league and the players union on Tuesday night yielded an agreement in principle on how the NBA will forge forward. There is still plenty that needs to be worked out, but here is an early look at what you need to know.

  • The NBA season will begin on December 22, just in time for Christmas. The schedule has yet to be worked out, but barring a major shift, there should be NBA games to go with your eggnog.
  • Instead of a standard 82 games, the season has been reduced to just 72 for the 2020-21 season. This should allow for a condensed schedule and the possibility for both a play-in tournament and potential for players to still play in the Olympics next summer.
  • Following the Nov. 18 NBA Draft, teams will have just two days to prepare for a wild, shortened free agency period. Teams can begin negotiations with players beginning Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. EST and agreements can officially be signed Nov. 22 at 12:01 p.m. EST.
  • Despite the chaos surrounding basketball-related income, the NBA’s salary cap will remain at $109.14 million with a luxury tax set at $132.627 million. In addition, the league has committed to a minimum three percent increase in the cap next season and a maximum of 10 percent over the prior season.
  • An official date to open training camps has not been announced, but there is speculation that the league is targeting Dec. 1. There is no word yet on adapted roster sizes, preseason contests or whether fans will be in attendance.

The fine print has yet to come out on the agreement, which will impact the Kings greatly. As of now, the team doesn’t have a date to guarantee Nemanja Bjelica’s $7.2 million for next season.

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They also don’t know the window for signing De’Aaron Fox to an extension or when restricted free agents like Bogdan Bogdanovic can sign an offer sheet with competing teams.

This is a developing story that we’ll continue to update as more information becomes available. For now, we know that the wheels are in motion with the draft and free agency scheduled to begin in less than two weeks. It should be a whirlwind six weeks in the NBA, hopefully culminating with actual games before the calendar hits 2021.