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.

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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.