The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are in agreement to delay upcoming events in the calendar year such as the 2020 NBA Draft, free agency and the 2020-21 season, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported.
Charania noted that the new dates for the events will be determined at a later time. The upcoming NBA Draft was set for Oct. 16 with free agency set to begin on Oct. 18.
The decision by the parties does not come as much as a surprise, as reports had surfaced in recent weeks that the league was considering pushing back the dates for the major events within the NBA offseason. The CBA termination window was recently moved back from Sept. 10 to Oct. 15.
It's a move that stems from the growing assumption that the 2020-21 NBA season will not start in November or even December, a timeline the league initially hoped to hit when it planned the resumption of play amid the coronavirus pandemic.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated during the NBA Draft Lottery that the Dec. 1 start date seemed to be too early, mainly due to the fact that the league would like to have fans in attendance when the 2020-21 NBA season does tip off.
As of now, with the pandemic still posing a major threat across the country, it would be challenging for the NBA to have fans at games in 2020. Bringing back attendance at games is crucial for the revenue of the league, as major losses are expected to come in the fiscal year due to the coronavirus.
"Our number one goal is to get fans back in our arenas," Silver said. "My sense is, in working with the Players Association, if we could push back even a little longer and increase the likelihood of having fans in arenas, that's what we would be targeting."
Whenever the league does put together a new set of dates for offseason activities and the following season, the NBA draft will be at the top of the list, and the Wizards will be picking No. 9 overall.