The NBA appears headed toward a 72-game season starting Dec. 22, a condensed schedule that will have some form of a play-in tournament for the bottom seeds in each conference, but will not include an All-Star Game and week off around it.
However, there may still be a mid-season break.
The league and players’ union will discuss “a two-week break at the midpoint of the season,” reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
For a league that has spent the last few years not just talking about putting player health first but taking steps — adding more breaks into the schedule, reducing back-to-backs, looking for ways to cut travel — it makes sense to add some cushion into a condensed schedule. The league is also looking for ways to reduce travel next season. For example, a team coming to Los Angeles could get all of its road games against the Lakers and Clippers done in one stay rather than multiple trips (something the league has done more of the past couple of seasons).
That two weeks could become one week or 10 days, depending on how the scheduling shakes out. The goal is to be done with the regular season in time for players on teams not in the postseason to play in the Tokyo Olympics (players teams making deep playoff runs likely will not make it).
Expect there to be some form of mid-season break in the next NBA season. Exactly what that will look like — much like the entire season itself — is still up in the air as negotiations continue.