The wait goes on for a restart date for the NBA, but the wider calendar is starting to shape up for the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the league’s teams.
Take it as written in pencil rather than in pen, but reports in recent days have started to put some shape on what the NBA could look like over the next year or so.
Of course, with the 2019-20 season currently on hold, a finish to the current campaign will come first and foremost. Beyond that, though, the knock on effect of the current delay will then feed into when the draft and free agency take place, and when the 2020-21 season will eventually get underway.
From a Milwaukee Bucks perspective, uncertainty on those fronts prevents any clarity as to when their outstanding season may have an opportunity to be completed, when their various free agents will make their decisions on what they want to do for next year, who will be the latest addition to the roster via the draft, and also when exactly Giannis Antetokounmpo can be offered the five-year supermax contract extension that’s critical to franchise’s future.
It’s currently still impossible to speak with any certainty as to how all of this will play out, but as my colleague Jordan Treske touched on, Bucks owner Marc Lasry has reiterated his confidence that the season will be completed, and that the playoffs will likely take place in July or August.
Although that is just Lasry’s (informed) opinion on the matter, that would certainly fit in line with the reporting on other key milestones over the past couple of days.
If the season was to wrap up in July or August, it would make perfect sense that the NBA Draft would take place in August or September, and that’s exactly what was reported by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor on Thursday:
“It’s still unclear when the 2020 draft will take place, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The draft can’t happen until after the 2019-20 season is over, and the league will hold off as long as possible before making any cancellations. League sources expect the NBA to push the draft from June 25 to August or September.”
On that same front, with free agency then likely set to take place from September onward, the current window for an NBA season will undoubtedly need to be pushed a little further down the line.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the idea of next season starting in December has already been floated, and may well be a proactive step toward protecting next season too.
“There’s support for a 2020-2021 season that would start in December and extend through late July or August, sources said. Silver has been preparing teams for the possibility of a delayed start to next season, which would potentially address the league’s longer-range concerns, whether this season is completed or not.”
That provides a sense of how, beyond the questions that still exist for how the NBA can recover and resume in the present, the after effects of the current hiatus may well lead to a reshaped schedule for the league for years to come.
Of course, all of this could yet be further disrupted and delayed if the NBA is unable to resume in the next couple of months, but there is at least a tentative picture of how the league could proceed into the foreseeable future.
Published at Fri, 01 May 2020 13:00:13 +0000