The pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, but the NBA is proceeding with planning out the 2021 season, which could begin sooner than later. The league is reportedly targeting a Dec. 22 start date that would see each team play 72 games.
If the league goes ahead with this proposal it will give new Sacramento Kings general manager Monte McNair less than two months to round out the roster going into his first full season with the team. Sacramento will have to make some tough decisions during the offseason, with the No. 1 priority being re-signing restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic.
John Hollinger of The Athletic broke down what a Dec. 22 start date means for the league and had this to say about the official start of free agency:
“Executives and writers will whine about an extremely compressed offseason schedule, but as a practical matter, nobody else cares. Suck it up, fellas.
With the draft slated for Nov. 18 and unlikely to move up, it would seem the most likely date for free agency to begin is on or about Nov. 23, the following Monday. If training camps start in early December — which they must if the season is to begin Dec. 22 — that gives us a 10-day blitz for free agency. Fun times!”
While this isn’t the ideal situation for McNair, the league has to do what is best for business. Shams Charania says the NBA could make an additional $500 million in revenue by starting before Christmas Day. Given economic fallout of the pandemic wreaking havoc on the league’s bottom line, it’s expected that the Board of Governors will want to take in every penny they can.
The Kings’ front office will have to scramble to implement their vision for the roster. Sacramento is dealing with the drama of the Buddy Hield situation and also has to decide if it wants to bring back veteran depth pieces like Alex Len and Kent Bazemore.
On to some links:
After the Kings declined center Harry Giles’ option for next season, the former Duke Blue Devil is being recruited by his former college teammate. Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics is trying to lure Giles to join him and sign with the storied franchise. (Heavy.com)
Will the drama ever end? Former Kings head coach George Karl continues his feud with Demarcus Cousins. (The Spun)
NBA ratings have been sagging over the last year. Hoops Hype looked at how Sacramento’s nationally televised game did last season.