After weeks of being in flux, today feels like the official beginning of the NBA offseason. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the league moratorium will end at 9 a.m. PT today.
Trade season begins Monday afternoon, sources tell ESPN. Teams were informed the NBA’s moratorium will end at noon ET and deals can begin to be consummated.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 15, 2020
As Wojnarowski notes, the end of the moratorium (the period when the league completes its financial audit of the previous season) means that teams can trade with one another, but free agency will not begin until Friday, Nov. 20. The deadline for most player and team options will be Thursday Nov. 19, per Keith Smith. The 2020 NBA Draft will go on as scheduled on Wednesday, in which the Clippers have the 57th pick.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the preseason will take place from Dec. 11 to Dec. 19, and each team will have either three or four preseason games. ESPN also outlined the remainder of the schedule for the 2020-21 regular season, which will begin on Dec. 22 and run through July, with the NBA Finals finishing before the start of the Olympics.
Tentative schedule— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 15, 2020
December 22: Opening night.
All-Star Break (minus an ASG): March 5-10
May 16: Regular season ends
May 17-to-21: Play-in tournament for 7-to-10 seeds.
May 22: First-round playoffs
June 7: Conference semifinals
June 22: Conference Finals
July 8-22: NBA Finals
A new addition in the upcoming regular season is the play-in tournament. It will involve the no. 7 through no. 10 seeds in each conference and as of now includes no standings trigger, unlike the play-in that existed in the NBA bubble.
One subtraction from the schedule is the All-Star Game, which only makes sense given the health risks of congregating players and team officials from all across the country during the pandemic. The league will still take a break to allow for a breather during the 72-game schedule.
In most seasons, players who sign during the offseason cannot be traded until Dec. 15. That date has been moved to Feb. 6. There is no current date for the trade deadline. The buyout. market has also been pushed back, as players will have to be waived by April 9 to be eligible for the playoffs with a different team.
The salary cap is currently set at $109.1 million for the 2020-21 season. Per reporting from ESPN, the cap is projected to rise to $112.3 million, $115.7 million, and then $119.2 million over the following three years, an increase of about three percent per season. It’s worth noting that player salaries can still rise up to 8% per season if they are signed with bird rights.
One more sobering bit of reporting from the NBA’s news dump is that both the players union and the league have the opportunity to terminate the CBA after each of the upcoming three seasons. Despite both parties being willing to power through and start the season, there remains a great deal of uncertainty about how the league year will play out and if adjustments will need to be made going forward.
For now, the NBA offseason is in full swing. It’s time for the Clippers to start assembling a team that can compete for the 2020-21 title.
More news for Monday:
- Who will the Clippers target first in free agency? Brad Turner of the L.A. Times says it might be Rajon Rondo. The team’s interest in Rondo was reported last month.
- The Clippers could also address their point guard position through the draft, as Andrew Greif details.
- Another way to add point-guard depth could be through a two-way contract, as two-ways will be allowed to spend 50 games with the NBA team in 2020-21, a substantial increase from the 45 days they were allowed previously.
- In that vein, Keslea O’Brien identified one G-Leaguer who could help each Western Conference team.
- What the Clippers shouldn’t do is trade for Russell Westbrook, as Jovan Buha explained.
- USA Today ran the numbers on how many people voted at stadiums and arenas in the recent election.
- Mo Dakhil identified the winners and losers of this year’s NBA head coaching carousel.
- Old friend alert: Former Clipper Caron Butler is joining the coaching staff in Miami, potentially to fill the shoes of Dan Craig.
- Katie Heindl has a wonderful profile on Spurs assistant Becky Hammon.