NBA, NBPA agree to season start date, FA schedule, modified CBA


The NBA and NBPA jointly announced Monday that they've agreed on a start date for the 2020-21 season and necessary modifications to the collective bargaining agreement.

Here are the details, per a release:

  • The 2020-21 season will tip off Tuesday, Dec. 22
  • Each team will play 72 regular season games in the 2020-21 season (full schedule to be announced later)
  • Though no precise, revised escrow percentage was enumerated, the agreement says that "necessary salary reductions beyond the 10 percent escrow" may be taken from player salaries over the next two seasons -- to be distributed amongst owners -- in the event that said salaries exceed the players' agreed-upon share of Basketball Related Income (about 51 percent)
    • Maximum salary reduction: 20 percent
  • The salary cap for the 2020-21 season will be $109.14 million, the luxury tax $132.627 million.
    • Both are unchanged from the 2019-20 season -- though, per ESPN's Tim Bontemps, the league will reduce the luxury tax bill for teams over the line
    • "In subsequent seasons of the CBA, the salary cap and tax level will increase by a minimum of three percent and a maximum of 10 percent over the prior season"
  • Free agent negotiations will open Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. CT (two days after the Nov. 18 draft); the moratorium on making signings official will lift Nov. 22

Training camps open Dec. 1, two weeks after the draft and just more than a week after free agency. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the league's current transaction freeze could lift "two or three" days before the draft.

With the season taking place amid a global pandemic, health and safety protocol are presumably to come as well.

The league and union had previously "tentatively" agreed to that Dec. 22 start date, but amendments to the CBA are fresh news. Neither nugget particularly affects the Bulls, who are projected to be over the cap by roughly $4 million after Otto Porter Jr. (almost certainly) opts in to his $28.5 million player option and the team signs their (likely) No. 4 overall pick.

Those two moves would bring the Bulls to 13 guaranteed roster spots, and that's before addressing their three potential restricted free agents (Kris Dunn, Denzel Valentine, Shaq Harrison) or making subsequent signings. As an over the cap team, the Bulls will have at their disposal the non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($9.3 million) and bi-annual exception ($3.6 million).

RELATED: How Bulls can realistically improve roster in free agency

In the meantime, gear up for the draft Nov. 18. Once that domino falls, after eight months of transactional stagnancy, the fun begins.


UPDATE: Nov. 10, 6:04 p.m. CT

The NBA announced Tuesday evening that owners voted unanimously to approve the above amendments to the CBA:

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