NBA, Players Association Set Free Agency Start Date

    • Free agency will begin at 6 p.m. ET on Nov. 20.
    • The parties also agreed to tweaks to the collective bargaining agreement.

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have reached an agreement on an amended collective bargaining agreement in addition to the official start of the 2020-21 season. 

Under the deal, free agency will begin at 6 p.m. ET on Nov. 20, with signings then allowed at 12:01 p.m. ET on Nov. 22. The NBA draft will take place on Nov. 18.

Last week, the parties agreed to a 72-game season beginning on Dec. 22 that will wrap up before the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Schedules have not been announced, but are rumored to include MLB-style series. 

A handful of players have voiced concerns about starting the next season so soon — training camps start just 51 days after the end of the 2020 Finals — but the league says it will save between $500 million and $1 billion by starting before January.

The salary cap and luxury tax will remain the same as the 2019-20 season — $109.1 million and $132.6 million, respectively. The salary cap will be guaranteed to increase between 3% and 10% per year through the duration of the current CBA, which runs through the 2023-24 season and includes a mutual opt-out after the 2022-23 season.

The typical escrow withholding of 10% — the amount withheld from players’ contracts in case the league does not meet revenue projections — also stay the same. If, however, salaries need to be reduced by more than that 10%, that loss will be spread out over the current season and the following two. Players will never have more than 20% of their salaries withheld in a single season.