The Boston Celtics began their 2019-20 season exactly one year ago Friday. But COVID-19 has thrown the league's schedule completely off-kilter.
The 2020 NBA Finals ended just two weeks ago, as the pandemic forced 22 teams to play an "NBA Restart" beginning in early August.
So, how will the league balance getting back on a normal schedule with giving teams enough time off?
According to Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill, the NBA is targeting Jan. 18, 2021 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- as a start date for the upcoming season.
That date isn't locked in, per Goodwill, who reported a Christmas Day start "is still in play." The league's goal is to complete the 2020-21 season in time to get back on track for a normal October-to-June schedule for the 2021-22 campaign, according to Goodwill, so the sooner this season can begin, the better.
The NBA will give teams a two-month notice before the start of the season, though, so that notice would need to come in the next few days if the league wants to start on Christmas. Goodwill reports MLK Day is a more "pragmatic" start date for the league.
After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics will have less rest this offseason than all but three other teams. Veterans like Kemba Walker and Daniel Theis (who just had a knee procedure) obviously would benefit from more time off, but the C's -- like the rest of the NBA -- will have to make do.
Goodwill also reported another interesting tidbit: that Louisville is being considered as a potential alternate home site for the Toronto Raptors. Canada has banned American travel into its country due to COVID-19, which is why the Toronto Blue Jays (Buffalo) and Toronto FC (East Hartford) both have had to move stateside.