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NBA 2020-21 season to begin on 22 December

The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Championship on 11 October

The NBA season will begin on 22 December after an agreement was reached with players over scheduling, salary figures and free agency dates.

The usual season-start date in October was pushed back because the coronavirus pandemic caused delays to the 2019-20 campaign.

But the NBA and its players’ union have agreed a new date and a 72-game season – a reduction on a usual campaign.

The agreement is yet to be approved by the league’s board members.

But the league and its players have a deal in principle that also includes a date of 20 November for when free agents can start negotiating with teams.

The 2020-21 salary cap has also been set at $109.1m (£82.8m).

The 2019-20 season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic in March and concluded in a ‘bubble’ environment in Orlando on 11 October, four months later than the season typically ends.

The Los Angeles Lakers ended a 10-year wait for their 17th NBA title, with LeBron James leading his team to a 4-2 Finals win over the Miami Heat.

With such a short time between the conclusion of the play-offs and the start of next season, there have been reports that some players – such as James – could miss the start of the new campaign in order to rest more.