It looks like new Sacramento Kings general manager Monte McNair will have to wait until the next year to see his team in action.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver discussed the league’s plans moving forward during an interview with CNN, and said: “his best guess” is that the next regular season will not begin until 2021.
Silver adds that the NBA’s goal is to get in a standard 82-game season. The commissioner said the league’s original plan of beginning the regular season in December felt “a little bit early to me,” and with new information coming to light about the coronavirus, he thinks pushing the start into the new year is the better option.
It was interesting to hear that Silver is hoping to have fans in attendance when the next season begins, but added that it is a fluid situation. He said the NBA keeps an eye on how the other professional sports leagues are proceeding with allowing fans in their arenas and stadiums. A final decision will be made later this year.
“But there’s still a lot that we need to learn in terms of rapid testing, for example,” Silver said. “Would that be a means of getting fans into our buildings? Will there be other protections?”
The NBA already pushed back the 2020 draft to Nov. 18, which gives the league and NBPA enough time to figure out the salary cap and luxury tax figures for the 2020-21 season. The pandemic’s economic fallout has robbed the league of roughly 40% of its revenue without fans in the building.
The Kings played their last game on Aug. 13 against the Los Angeles Lakers, so they would be looking at roughly a five-month layoff. Sacramento has the No. 12 selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, and with the league planning on starting free agency shortly after that, we should still get plenty of Kings news leading up to the start of the next season.
When do you think the next season will begin? Do you think fans will be allowed to attend games whenever the league does resume play?
On to some links:
Point guard De’Aaron Fox is clearly the best player on the Kings, but will the new regime give him a max contract? Jason Jones of The Athletic does a deep dive on one of the most important decisions McNair will make this offseason.
During McNair’s time with the Houston Rockets, analytics played a big role in the front office’s decision-making. The Sac Bee looks at how McNair will proceed with reshaping the roster over the next few seasons.