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Here's what we know about the next NBA season: Not much

By Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

Now what?

It was the underlying emotion for a lot of people in the NBA over the final weeks of the league's quarantined residency at Disney World, especially as the finish line for the bubble came into clear sight.

Yes, the season was saved. Yes, a champion was crowned. Yes, no players tested positive for the virus and no games had to be canceled. And yes, commitments to the league's television partners were satisfied.

The plan succeeded beyond the NBA's expectations.

But what now?

The only date on the upcoming NBA calendar that's set is the 2020 NBA Draft (Nov. 18). Free agency could get started by early December, the season might start as soon as mid-January and maybe the playoffs will stretch deep into next summer.

 

The NBA and the NBPA, the union that represents the league's players, are currently negotiating modifications of the league's collective bargaining agreement, its financial models unequipped for the crippling blows of the global pandemic that are still being absorbed.

With the bubble officially bursting with success Monday, the expectation is that talks will intensify next week.

The sides, according to people with knowledge of the situation, agreed to extend the deadline for negotiations to Oct. 30. And while either side could notify the other they're backing out of the agreement, triggering a stoppage, that's not expected.

"I don't have any expectations of labor issues, I think, in the way you're suggesting it, meaning that we won't be able to resolve them," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in response to that question before the NBA Finals. "There's no doubt there are issues on the table that need to be negotiated. I think it's - we've managed to work through every other issue so far. I think we have a constructive relationship with them. We share all information. We look at our various business models together.

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