According to reports from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the 2020/2021 NBA season is likely to start on December 22.
It is believed that the league office informed its Board of Governors on Friday, October 23, that it intends to schedule the NBA season start three days before Christmas and end in late July 2021.
The NBA is in favor of a play-in tournament for the final playoff seeds, per Charania.
Sources: NBA and Board Governors continued discussion on call today about playing something resembling more of a baseball series to limit travel outside of bubble. For example, a team might travel to New York and play its two road games against Knicks and one vs. Nets. https://t.co/ObuqSkNXCB
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 23, 2020
The league tested a play-in series during the 2019-20 season restart, and the eighth-place Portland Trail Blazers defeated the ninth-place Memphis Grizzlies for the right to face the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the first round.
The start date would need to be confirmed by the National Basketball Players Association.
A December 22 start date would allow for the customary October start to the following season.