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Report: NBA fears ‘only several days left’ to agree on Dec. 22 start


NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 24: Tissot shot clock is seen during the action between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden on November 24, 2019 in New York City.Brooklyn Nets defeated the New York Knicks 103-101. 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 the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver reportedly said, “We’re running out of time” to start a 72-game season Dec. 22 with training camps opening Dec. 1.

How much time is left for owners and players to strike a deal?

Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN:

Discussions with the National Basketball Players Association continued over the weekend and into Monday, but the union’s reluctance to agree to a Dec. 22 start and a reduced 72-game regular season has left the league fearful it has only several days left before opening training camps around Dec. 1 for a pre-Christmas tip is no longer a realistic possibility, sources said.

Optimism still exists that an agreement can be reached on the pre-Christmas start, but it has been tempered in recent days, sources said.

The draft is set for Nov. 18. Free agency would begin afterward. The plan was always to get in those key events before the season.

So, “only several days” sounds too alarmist to me.

Sure, everyone would prefer to have more information sooner. Teams want to plan. Players want to train properly.

But as long as a deal is reached before the draft, there’d be the exact same amount of time to complete the draft and free agency before the season. That leaves two weeks* to strike a deal (IF players actually want to begin Dec. 22).

Considering the huge amount of money on the line, I doubt anyone gives up on a pre-Christmas start before absolutely necessary.

*At least. The draft and free agency could always be delayed. But at some point, it becomes actually too rushed.