The NBA is on track to return before Christmas, now that the league and National Basketball Players Association have agreed to terms for the 2020-21 season. That leaves the Los Angeles Lakers with just 71 days total between the end of their championship triumph and the beginning of their title defense, and the LA Clippers with just over 100 days separating them from their epic postseason collapse against the Denver Nuggets. However you slice it, that gives the NBA’s top teams from the 2019-20 season little time to prepare for a truncated 72-game campaign, and even less of an idea of how the schedule will play out logistically in the midst of an ongoing (and seemingly ever worsening) pandemic. The good news: everyone knows what the financial terms will be when free agency opens on November 20, two days after the 2020 NBA Draft.
On this week’s episode of Hollywood Hoops, Eric Pincus and Josh Martin provide a full primer of what lies ahead for the best basketball league on the planet. Our co-hosts begin by detailing the thought process behind the restart date, and how commissioner Adam Silver and the league’s team owners may have used more player-friendly escrow terms to get their on-court partners to agree on a quicker return to play. Then, Eric draws on his deep knowledge of the NBA’s salary cap to explain how the league and its players intend to navigate the fiscal uncertainty of continuing to play during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Eric and Josh then turn their attention to how the Lakers and Clippers will navigate the choppy waters and uncertain seas facing all 30 of the Association’s squad. Should the Purple and Gold run it back with the same group that got them to Title No. 17 in Orlando? Is Kyle Kuzma due for a sizable extension? How can the Clippers address their need at point guard in light of the recently released cap numbers?
Our co-hosts close out the show with a major announcement about the future of Hollywood Hoops.
00:00 – NBA’s Return Date
15:20 – The New Salary Cap
23:33 – Lakers, Clippers in Free Agency
46:18 – The Big Announcement