It was reported earlier on Friday that the NBA was targeting a Christmas Day start to the 2020-21 season. As of Friday afternoon, the league now is targeting a start date before the holiday.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the NBA is targeting Dec. 22 for the start of next season. He reports that it would be a 72-game schedule that finishes before the 2021 Olympics.
Starting in December may not be feasible, and some have considered a Martin Luther King Jr. Day start to the season in mid-January.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is reportedly planning to give teams eight weeks notice ahead of the start of the season, so we may learn the official start date sooner rather than later. If the league plans to start on Dec. 22, Silver will have to let teams know the official plans by next week if he is to follow the reported eight-week timeline.
After deciding on a start date, the NBA will meet more challenges of actually designing the season schedule. Things like how many games, if fans will be allowed to attend, COVID-19 restrictions and much more will need to be ironed out.
The league still has a lot of work to do before next season can begin. The 2020 NBA Draft is set for Nov. 18, with free agency to follow. Before we know it, teams will be back on the court.