UPDATE 3:07 pm: As we suspected, this is not happening.
Here is the tweet from Michael Lee of the Washington Post to confirm what teams have been told:
League has informed teams that there won’t be any delays – training camps will open on Friday.
Nothing to see here, move along.
1:03 pm: Don’t bet on this happening, but it apparently is being discussed.
There are a number of teams — Boston and Miami among them — who have a lot of roster filling in to do before the season starts, which makes training camp hard. Especially since camps and free agency were both set to kick off Dec. 9.
So the league is considering pushing back the start of training camps through the weekend until Monday, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
The league office was polling team executives over the past 48 hours about the possibility, sources said. Despite the discussions, no final decision has been made….
“Teams with just a handful of guys under contract have been complaining that it’s going to be too difficult to start on Friday,” one league executive said.
Don’t expect this to happen just because of the timing. Training camps were set to open Dec. 9, the first preseason games are Dec. 16 and games start Dec. 25. Push back the start and camps now would not open until Dec. 12, four days before the first preseason games.
It’s not going to be ideal for some teams, but if the league wants games on Christmas they can’t really roll things back at this point. Play is going to be sloppy enough at the start of this season without less practice time.
The NBA is getting back to business.
On Wednesday agents of NBA players can contact teams (something that has been going on through back channels anyway but now can happen directly). No deals can be official until Dec. 9.
On Thursday, NBA players can return to team facilities for voluntary workouts, so tweets Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel (Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo was first with this news). Aggrey Sam at CSNChicago.com also confirmed this.
For the players on teams already it means a chance to workout and play pick-up games with their teammates. It is not chance for coaches to work with players — team officials cannot coach or have anything but incidental contact with players. Although, you can bet this is skirted a bit, especially key for teams where there is a new coach or considerable player turnover. It’s a chance to install some system items before training camps officially open.
But the real action will begin with the agents. While technically teams are not supposed to enter into verbal agreements with players, you can be sure lot of handshake deals will be in place and just formalized on Dec. 9. That allows free agents to be with teams at the start of training camp. There will start to be a flurry of activity, and you will also see agents of lesser-known players working to get their guys camp invites.
I will warn you now — those marquee Christmas Day NBA opening day games are going to be sloppy.
Same with the likely dozen games to follow the next day and a lot of the games over the next month or so.
Teams are going to have a 16-day training camp and just two preseason games, reports John Schuhmann at NBA.com. The dates and games are not yet know, but if you are wondering who your team will play in those couple exhibition games, pull out a map and see what teams are nearest and you pretty much have your answer.
Early on expect veteran teams that have not seen a lot of turnover — Spurs, Celtics — to get off to fast starts because they should be smoother early. However, how the legs of those veteran teams will hold up as a condensed schedule drags on for months remains to be seen.
We’re just saying, it’s not going to be a year for a lot of pretty basketball, and that will start on opening day.