In sports, and in most other areas of life these days, things are tentative. That’s certainly been the case with the NBA’s calendar, which has shifted often in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Thursday reported that next season won’t start earlier than Christmas.
An early December start to the 2020-21 season would’ve meant a limited window for players to recover and train, plus less time to devise plans related to the presence of COVID-19. There’s no definitive understanding at the moment of how COVID-19 will be impacting different areas of the country months down the line.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported Nov. 18 as a potential revised date for the NBA draft. The Sixers have five picks — 21, 34, 36, 49 and 58 — which is the most of any team (see Sixers-only mock draft). Wojnarowski reported that moving the draft back could allow for a combine, as well as time to determine the new salary cap figures for next season.
The Sixers are projected to pay the luxury tax after making long-term, expensive commitments to Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Al Horford and Tobias Harris. They’ll be looking toward the draft, trades and salary cap exceptions such as the taxpayer mid-level exception and minimum contracts as methods to retool their roster.