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NBA narrowing down potential start dates

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We should know soon when we will see the Sacramento Kings back on the court.

Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The NBA and Players’ Union are zeroing on an agreement for when the 2021 season will begin. The league has submitted two proposals that the players will vote on either Thursday evening, or Friday morning.

We haven’t seen the Sacramento Kings play a game since they wrapped up their eight-game schedule in Orlando. The Athletic’s Shams Charania is reporting that the NBA is hoping to tipoff next season either a few days before Christmas, or in the new year around Martin Luther King Day.

Here are the main details from each plan:

Dec. 22 start:

– Dec. 1 training camps begin for three weeks

– Three-to-four preseason games

– 72-game regular season

– 14 back-to-back games per team

– 25 percent reduction in travel

– All-Star Break for six days in early March

– Regular season ends around May 16

– Play-in tournament for the Nos. 7-10 seeds in the Eastern and Western Conference

– Playoffs begin around May 22

– Finals finish around July 22

Jan. 18 start:

– Camp opens on Dec. 28, for three weeks

– Three-to-four preseason games

– 60-game regular season

– 12 back-to-back games per team

– 25 percent reduction in travel

– All-Star Break for six days beginning around April 9

– Regular season ends in June

– Play-in tournament for Nos. 7-10 seeds in Eastern and Western Conference

If 72 games:

– Playoff start around June 28

– Finals end around August 21-23

The NBA and NBPA hope to maintain a salary cap and tax of $109 million and $132 million, respectively.

With new general manager Monte McNair coming in, it might be more beneficial for the Kings if the season begins in January. Sacramento has to decide on whether or not it will keep restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic and will have to figure out how to proceed with Buddy Hield.

If the NBA and the Players’ Union agreed to a Dec. 22 start date, it would give McNair and co. roughly three weeks to figure out the roster before training camp begins. De’Aaron Fox is also up for an extension, plus Kent Bazemore and Alex Len are up for new deals, which would give McNair less time to figure out his next steps.

Without fans in attendance, Sacramento’s bottom-line will be affected. The league hopes to allow a limited number of people into the building during games at certain arenas. Still, with California’s tough COVID-19 restrictions, it’s hard to imagine the Kings will be one of those teams.

When do you think the season will begin?