The NBA will return for a 72-game regular season after the league and players agreed to a new revenue-sharing deal amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The season will begin on December 22 after the two sides reached an in-principle agreement for the 2020-2021 campaign, according to a statement from the NBA and the NBA Players Association.
The salary cap and tax level remains the same as the previous 82-game regular season, the statement added, with the league’s board of governors set to vote to finalise the deal.
Negotiations with free agents will start on November 20 and signings will be permitted from November 22, while the draft is scheduled to take place on November 18.
Specifics have yet to be worked out around coronavirus protocols, which will be closely monitored after the pandemic-interrupted 2019-2020 season that eventually led to 22 teams entering an isolation zone referred to as the “NBA-bubble” at Disney World in Florida.
The strict rules ensured no player tested positive to Covid-19 in the bubble, with the Los Angeles Lakers ultimately claiming their first NBA title for a decade after beating the Miami Heat in the final series.
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