In a widely anticipated move, the NBA and NBPA have agreed to push back the scheduled dates for the 2020 NBA Draft and free agency, and 2020-21 season, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Tuesday evening.
The draft had been scheduled for Oct. 16, free agency Oct. 18. And when the league unveiled its restart plan for the 2019-20 season, the opening of the 2020-21 campaign was pegged for Dec. 1. But a two-month offseason (give or take) always felt like a whirlwind turnaround, especially given the league's stated goal of finding a way to get fans back into seats amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioner Adam Silver added substance to that speculation on ESPN's NBA Draft Lottery broadcast in August.
“December 1, now that we’re working through the season, is feeling a little bit early to me (to start the 2020-21 season),” Silver told Rachel Nichols. “Our number one goal is to get fans back in our arenas. My sense is in working with the players association, if we could push back even a little longer and it increases the likelihood of having fans in arenas, that’s what we would be targeting.”
The wheels are now beginning to turn toward the league calendar being delayed in line with that vision. New dates, per Charania, are to be determined.
Where does that leave the Bulls? Well, with a bit longer to ruminate their options with the No. 4 overall pick, for one.
And in the immediate future, COVID-19 testing for voluntary group workouts for the eight teams excluded from the league's Disney World restart begins on Sept. 14. Workouts begin Sept. 21.
The coaching search, which is in the interview stage, continues in earnest as well.