Report: NBA Draft, Free Agency Likely To Be Postponed Amid Uncertainty Over Season Start

Dan Mennella
August 25, 2020 - 5:32 pm

The NBA is moving toward delaying the upcoming draft and free agency period, according to a report Tuesday.

The league and the players' association agreed Tuesday to push back the deadline to complete talks regarding potential modifications to the collective bargaining agreement for the 2020-'21 season until Oct. 15, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The move paves the way for the league to push back the draft and the start of free agency -- currently scheduled for Oct. 16 and 18, respectively -- in anticipation of further delaying the 2020-'21 season beyond its current Dec. 1 start date, the report said.

A later start to the season would allow the league and players additional time to assess the status of the coronavirus pandemic and modify the CBA.

Under the prolonged window, both the owners and players have the right to terminate the existing CBA due to the virus, though it doesn't appear either party has any interest in pursuing that option at the moment.

NBPA president Michele Roberts suggested there's no reason to anticipate any such labor strife, according to ESPN.

"Extending is an easy call," she told ESPN. "If everyone continues to be well-intentioned on how we deal with the economic effects of this virus, we'll just make the appropriate adjustments, and there won't be a need to terminate the CBA at all."

Instead, the sides will use the extended window to hash out matters such as the salary cap and the luxury tax, recalibrated through the lens of a new economic climate.

In May, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told NBPA members that the CBA "was not built for an extended pandemic," ESPN reported.