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Key NBA dates: Tentative schedule has Finals starting Sept. 30

NBA voluntary workouts

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 1: View of the game ball and This is Why We Play logo before the game between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets on December 1, 2016 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Starting July 7, NBA players will begin arriving in Orlando for the restart of the NBA season. That’s the one of many Key NBA dates for 2020.

There remain questions about the health and safety procedures for players when they arrive — and exactly which players will arrive under the new roster rules laid out by the league — but we have a sense of the schedule now, thanks to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The tentative key NBA dates for 2020 schedule is:


  • June 21: All players report
  • June 30: Training camp begins
  • July 7: Teams travel to Orlando
  • July 31: The “seeding games” begin, eight games per team
  • Aug. 16-17: Play-in tournament (if needed, maximum two games back-to-back)
  • Aug. 18: First round of playoffs begins
  • Sept. 1: Second round of playoffs begins
  • Sept. 15: Conference Finals begin
  • Sept. 30: NBA Finals begin
  • Oct. 12: Game 7 (if necessary)

This schedule has teams playing every other day, both during the “seeding games” (with one back-to-back per team) and throughout the playoffs. That includes the 2020 NBA Finals, except there will be a three-day break at one point (very likely between Game 6 and 7, pushing Game 7 to a Monday night rather than a Sunday during the NFL season).

While players will come in rested after the coronavirus-forced break, playing every other day for a couple of months could lead to some heavy legs for veterans as the playoffs move on. It’s something to watch.

Then remember these Key NBA dates 2020 that impact next season:


  • Aug. 25: NBA Draft lottery
  • Oct. 15: NBA Draft
  • Oct. 18: Free agency begins
  • Nov. 10: Training camp begins for 2020-21 season
  • Dec. 1: Opening night

There’s a lot to do between now and the start of the season, so the league will have a “transaction window” before the season begins. Read more about that here.