NBA Negotiations Underway for 2021 Season


   It’s been nearly two months since the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, putting an end to the pandemic-disrupted season. Of course, speculators and teams alike have wondered when the start of next season would be, considering in a normal year, games would start in October. In conjunction with the NBPA, the NBA has tentatively scheduled the league to start on December 22, which is fast approaching. 

   While it may seem as if December 22 is a long way away, it really doesn’t give players and teams a chance to rest. The new NBA restart requires teams to begin training camp in less than a month. In a typical year, the offseason is 3 months, but the 2 teams that played in the finals, will have had roughly only 2 months to train their bodies, spend time with their families, and recover from the seemingly draining time in the NBA bubble. Senior Aidan Ryan says, “It’s a much shorter offseason than we all expected. Not to mention the upcoming draft, trades and free agency, and training camps. It seems kind of rushed.” Needless to say, the discussions are nowhere near over. Negotiations are still underway concerning safety of the teams, trade deadlines, and salary cap discussions.

   With the Tokyo Olympics slated for this summer, the NBA hopes to complete this season before they start on July 23, which would prevent competing for viewers. The proposed schedule would call for training camp to begin December 1. The regular season would additionally be cut short by 10 games, leading into the playoffs. 

   Of course, the NBA has substantially lost revenue as a result of the pandemic, and the costs of pulling off the successful NBA bubble. Like the NFL start, fans wouldn’t be allowed in every arena, and would be at the discretion of both government and team officials for that particular area. The cost of arranging the bubble was around $200 million dollars, a part of the nearly $500 million dollars lost as a result of the abrupt ending of the season due to the pandemic. Freshman Amogh Baranwal says, “I think the NBA should prioritize the safety of the teams instead of worrying about revenue. I hope it isn’t rushed in the interest of money instead of looking out for the best interest of the people who are involved in the league. You can always make more money, but you can’t replace a human life.” The league’s plans remain largely unresolved.  

   While additional kinks remain to be sorted out, the NBA is confident it can come to an agreement with the NBA Player’s Association. No matter when the season is set to begin, it remains the goal of the league to keep all persons involved safe, whether played in a bubble or not.