A few more pieces the 2020-21 NBA season puzzle are about to fall into place.
The league has targeted dates for the 2021 NBA trade deadline, the 2021 All-Star break and the deadline for players to be waived and eligible for postseason rosters, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Thursday.
Here are the dates, which are pending approval from the NBA's Board of Governors, per Charania:
March 5-10: NBA All-Star break
March 25: NBA trade deadline
April 9: Deadline for players to be waived and eligible for postseason rosters
To clarify, there will be no 2021 NBA All-Star Game due to COVID-19: The Indiana Pacers now will host the 2024 All-Star Game instead. The six-day hiatus simply will serve as a bridge between the first and second halves of the 72-game regular season.
The NBA trade deadline traditionally is in early February, about three and a half months from the start of the regular season. That time frame will be condensed slightly this season, as the March 25 deadline is three months and three days after the Dec. 22 start.
Celtics fans should circle March 25 on their calendars after Boston acquired the largest traded player exception in NBA history ($28.5 million) in the Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade.
The C's have one year to use the exception before it expires, and if they don't swing a trade before March 25, they'll have to wait until the 2021 offseason.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will have between Dec. 22 and March 25 to assess his squad and determine what moves (if any) he wants to make. Any deal probably would come closer to March 25, though, as Ainge said recently he's in no rush to make a deal.