How much time is left for owners and players to strike a deal?
Discussions with the National Basketball Players Association continued over the weekend and into Monday, but the union’s reluctance to agree to a Dec. 22 start and a reduced 72-game regular season has left the league fearful it has only several days left before opening training camps around Dec. 1 for a pre-Christmas tip is no longer a realistic possibility, sources said.
Optimism still exists that an agreement can be reached on the pre-Christmas start, but it has been tempered in recent days, sources said.
The draft is set for Nov. 18. Free agency would begin afterward. The plan was always to get in those key events before the season.
So, “only several days” sounds too alarmist to me.
Sure, everyone would prefer to have more information sooner. Teams want to plan. Players want to train properly.
But as long as a deal is reached before the draft, there’d be the exact same amount of time to complete the draft and free agency before the season. That leaves two weeks* to strike a deal (IF players actually want to begin Dec. 22).
Considering the huge amount of money on the line, I doubt anyone gives up on a pre-Christmas start before absolutely necessary.
*At least. The draft and free agency could always be delayed. But at some point, it becomes actually too rushed.