NBA, players agree to 72-game schedule starting Dec. 22

AR182

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The NBA’s board of governors unanimously approved Tuesday the financial terms and other parameters that were negotiated between the league and its players. Those talks were completed late Monday night, when the league and National Basketball Players Association announced they are in agreement on a revised collective bargaining agreement for this coming season — setting the stage for a frenzied few weeks before games resume.

Teams will play a 72-game schedule, which will be revealed in the coming weeks. The league said a new system will be used to ensure that the split of basketball-related income continues, one of the biggest deals that had to be worked out with the union because the current agreement between the sides had a great deal of language that needed reworking because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Negotiations with free agents will be allowed to begin at 6 p.m. on Nov. 20, with signings permitted starting at 12:01 p.m. on Nov. 22 — an extraordinarily fast window for the NBA, which typically has about a week spanning the start of talks and the beginning of signings. But with training camps this year beginning Dec. 1, both sides evidently feel there isn’t a need to draw out the process any longer than necessary.

Many rosters could be considerably reshaped by then, with trades likely to be permissible again in the coming days — the exact details there still being worked out — and the NBA draft set to take place Nov. 18. Player and team options likely will be settled around that same time. Free agency starts two days after the draft, with around 100 players set for unrestricted status.

The salary cap and tax level will remain unchanged. The cap was $109.14 million this past season, with the tax level at $132,627,000. The real numbers will be affected by the shortened schedule — last year’s numbers were based on the standard 82-game season, a threshold that won’t be reached this year.

The salary cap for 2021-22 is guaranteed to rise somewhere between 3% and 10%, the league said, which means it’ll be somewhere between $112.4 million and $120.1 million.
 

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