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Key NBA Dates: Updated restart schedule has Finals ending Oct. 13

NBA Key Dates 2020

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 23: EPCOT remains closed to the public due to the Coronavirus threat on March 23, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. The United States has surpassed 43,000 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the death toll climbed to at least 514. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)

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We may not know for sure if the players are all in — or how many may choose to stay home — but we’ve got updated key NBA dates for the restart of the league in Orlando.

First the caveat: Everything about the NBA’s restart is still written in pencil, not pen. Details are being hammered out on the 22-team restart plan at the Walt Disney World resort complex in Orlando. Yet things are progressing, and we have an updated timeline now, thanks to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The tentative key NBA dates for 2020 schedule is:

  • June 21: All players report to home market
  • June 22: “Transaction window” opens when teams can fill out roster
  • June 30: Training camps begin
  • July 7: Teams travel to Orlando
  • July 31-Aug. 14: The “seeding games” begin, eight games per team
  • Aug. 15-16: Play-in tournaments (if needed, maximum two games back-to-back)
  • Aug. 17: First round of playoffs begins
  • Aug. 31-Sept. 13: Second round of playoffs
  • Sept. 15-28: Conference Finals
  • Sept. 30: NBA Finals begin
  • Oct. 13: Game 7 (if necessary)

This timeline is close to what we have seen before, but with things moved by a day or two (usually earlier). This schedule has teams playing nearly 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, although there are some gaps in there to allow for multiple-day breaks (the exact dates of the games are not yet public).

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.

Remember these tentative 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

That Dec. 1 date raised eyebrows around the league — especially from players and the players’ union — and could be pushed back a few weeks. However, the league office wants to compact next season and finish close to July 1, allowing NBA players to take part in the Tokyo Olympics (assuming those take place as scheduled, starting in late July 2021).