It's already October 2nd. Under normal circumstances, teams would be engaged in training camp and preparing for preseason games.
But 2020 has been anything but normal. In fact, the NBA Finals are going on right now.
COVID-19 resulted in the longest NBA season in history, and as that season finally nears its end, we turn our attention to the next one.
The only question is, when will the next season start.
The NBA was once eyeing an early December start, then a late December start, and now they are eying a start after the new year.
For Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum, he is planning for a start time even later than that.
"Next year is February/March, if I had to guess. I don't think January is gonna happen, especially if they want fans," McCollum said on the latest episode of the Talkin' Blazers podcast. I think we all want fans to be able to come and be safe. So, my workout regiment is shifted towards a February start. We start in January, I'll be ready, but I'm looking at February/March. February probably training camp, March start."
The Blazers could be facing the longest offseason in recent memory and the extra time could pay off for McCollum.
"I'm looking forward to this offseason. It will probably be the longest offseason I'll have in my career to where I can really focus on a lot of different things, rest first and foremost," said McCollum. "Figuring out my body going forward and how I can kind of maximize and get the most out of it and kind of train specifically towards what I want to accomplish for next season."
A March start would also likely push back the following season as well, and we could see the 2021-22 season starting closer to Christmas which is something the NBA has eyed in recent years.
When the season does get rolling, the Blazers will be in great shape. The team will see the return of the injured Zach Collins and Rodney Hood, they will have Jusuf Nurkic at the ready, and Trevor Ariza will be ready to play as well. With a full complement of players, the Blazers will be a tough match for anyone.
This is all uncharted territory. We only have our best guesses as to when next season will actually start, but regardless of when it does, McCollum and the Blazers will be ready.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest CJ McCollum].