The NBA Players Association has voted to tentatively approve the league's proposal to begin the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The season will consist of 72 games.
The league and players had previously considered starting the season on Jan. 18, though it appears crucial financial ramifications have been agreed upon to make a Dec. 22 date feasible.
The two sides will now work to finalize health and safety protocols, and are still discussing escrow withholdings of players' salaries for the upcoming season. Charania reports the current target is 17-18%, with the goal of lowering that figure to the normal 10% by 2022-23.
The league and players association are also discussing a minimum of 2% annual growth of the salary cap and luxury tax for the remaining lifetime of the current collective bargaining agreement. The expected salary cap for next season is $109 million.
There was reportedly a faction of players pushing for a Jan. 18 start date, according to Yahoo Sports's Chris Haynes. The Dec. 22 start date would give players just over two months off after the 2019-20 season concluded in Orlando on Oct. 11.
Last week, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts addressed the notion of beginning the season in December, raising concerns about how such a quick turnaround could impact players' health.
"I don’t know what I think yet," Roberts told USA Today Sports's Mark Medina. "We are in the throes of discussing it and in the throes of evaluating what it means in terms of the revenue-related issues that have been raised. Frankly, we’re also spending some time trying to get information on what this means in respect to player health."