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Woj Dishes on Potential Dates for NBA Draft, Free Agency, 2020-21 Season Start

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 3, 2020

Prospective NBA draft picks pose for a group photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, with basketball, before the NBA draft Thursday, June 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The NBA is reportedly looking into dates for a number of key offseason events, including the 2020 draft and the beginning of free agency, as well as a potential start date for the 2020-21 season. 

Appearing on ESPN's Get Up! on Wednesday, Adrian Wojnarowski reported the start of next season will be "probably no later than Christmas Day" and that free agency could begin within three weeks of the last potential date for this year's NBA Finals:

"You know, you would have to believe that if you're going to play games on Christmas Day, you've got to be starting training camp right around Thanksgiving, and free agency essentially would start until Nov. 1, maybe Oct. 30th or 31st in that time frame after the draft. You know, if you look at how normally the days in between, you know, from the Finals, to the draft, to free agency, and so you may still have players assembling onto rosters as training camp is starting next year. It's going to be certainly a tight squeeze for the NBA, but with 22 teams versus, let's say a 16-team format if they just brought the playoff teams back, I was told that calendar would not have gone until Oct. 12, but they could've finished up a season around Sept. 24th or 25th. But the fact that the league's moving towards the 22 teams, which means also regular-season games, play-in games for the 8 seeds and then the playoffs, that takes you to the middle of October."

Wojnarowski previously reported that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is expected to have a return-to-play proposal ready for Thursday's board of governors vote. The draft and the start of free agency are expected to be "in sequential order" in October following the NBA Finals. 

According to Wojnarowski, the league is expected to "overwhelmingly pass" the 22-team model, with a start date of July 31. 

Details about what the format will look like are still being worked out, but it's expected teams will be centralized at ESPN's Wide World of Sports resort in Orlando, Florida. The model could include regular-season games, play-in games and the playoffs.

Given that the 2019-20 season is likely to extend well into the fall, the draft and free agency will be moved to accommodate a revised schedule. 

In April, Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony reported many teams were "united" in their efforts to move the draft to "no sooner than Aug. 1." 

The 2020 NBA draft is currently scheduled to take place June 25, while free agency would open June 30 at 6 p.m. ET.           

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