Cavs: NBA, NBPA reportedly in conversations about Dec. 22 start to next season

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. (left) and Cleveland guard Collin Sexton celebrate in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. (left) and Cleveland guard Collin Sexton celebrate in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

We could see the Cleveland Cavaliers back before 2021.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have not appeared in game action since March 10, in which they had a narrow loss to the Chicago Bulls. Shortly thereafter, the 2019-20 NBA season’s novel coronavirus-induced hiatus went into effect, and later on, the season would ultimately end for Cleveland with them not being a team chosen to participate in the Orlando restart.

That was a tough bit of luck for Cleveland, albeit due to COVID-19 exposure concerns, one could fully understand where the league was coming from. For the Wine and Gold, though, it was unfortunate, because they were playing well post-All-Star break.

Leading into the hiatus, the Cavs were 5-6 in that span, and seemed to be gelling in the opening stretch of J.B. Bickerstaff taking over the head coaching reigns. It was only 11 games, but Cleveland was sixth in assist rate and 10th in effective field goal percentage in the NBA during that time.

Anyhow, in relation to next season, hopefully, young pieces such as Darius Garland, of course, Collin Sexton, Cleveland’s leading scorer with 20.8 points per outing in 2019-20, and Kevin Porter Jr. can further progress in their development. Due to COVID-19, though, it’s not been easy for the Cavs, who’ve not been able to have the group together much in what’s been an extended offseason.

It was good for them to have had most of the group together via voluntary team in-market bubble workouts last month, on the plus side. But it’s evident that next season, really, can’t come soon enough for the group.

Looking at the potential start of next season, while before in an interview with Citizen CNN, NBA commissioner Adam Silver noted that his “best guess” was January at the earliest, it appears, per Friday reports, that could come sooner.

Here was a few updates in that realm from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, with Dec. 22 being a target date the NBA and NBPA are reportedly discussing, and the financial impact of that possible earlier start.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst first reported how the league is looking into a pre-Christmas date, a bit less 72-game regular season, getting going potentially before fans can be in arenas and/or maybe not having an All-Star Weekend. ESPN’s Tim McMahon and Zach Lowe contributed to that report, too.

A play-in tournament for both conferences, factoring in the proposed reduction of the regular season could, per Wojnarowski and Windhorst, could allow the NBA “to finish the season before the Summer Olympics in Japan.” Those are set to play out in Tokyo at a later date.

Both Woj and Windhorst then reported more in relation to how the league is looking to avoid beginning via the bubble format.

"“As the coronavirus continues to rage across the country, the NBA strongly prefers to stay out of a bubble format and continues discussing travel and game schedules that would keep teams in a marketplace longer and playing multiple games, similar to Major League Baseball series, sources said.Two-thirds of the league’s local jurisdictions aren’t currently allowing for public gatherings of more than 500 people, and ominous public health projections for the trajectory of the virus’ spread have limited the league’s hope of safely returning fans to arenas in the next few months, sources said.Around the league, there’s support to be playing again by Christmas, but a realization that it’s going to become a chaotic challenge coming out of a Nov. 18 draft, free agency and training camps that would need to be open shortly after Thanksgiving. Without a bubble environment, the NBA will be facing positive coronavirus tests for players and staff.”"

So what’s the key here regarding the Cavs?

This proposal has yet to be agreed upon by the NBPA/players, so we’ll have to see what eventually plays out. In any case, if this were, though, the offseason would be a rapid one between the 2020 NBA Draft, free agency to follow/training camps would be getting started soon from there.

As a quick side note, in terms of the offseason/free agency, while Andre Drummond is reportedly undecided about picking up his $28.7 million player option, it’s still hard to foresee him not pick that up eventually, I would still think.

Regarding the draft, though, the Cavaliers’ fifth overall pick might have a tough transition with that very quick turnaround if this proposal were to eventually happen. But I wouldn’t imagine that’d be the case for too much into the year, however.

Moreover, for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ incumbent young pieces, they’d I’d think be in huge favor of this pre-Christmas proposed start. That’s given that it’s been so long that those players, such as Sexton, Garland and Porter, have not been in Cavs game action since March.

For the squad in general, I’d imagine they’d be fine with this proposal, from a team chemistry and development perspective. An essentially extended offseason, from an individual standpoint, though, has hopefully aided players in getting fully healthy.

Albeit some rust, either way, at the beginning of next season is expected for the Wine and Gold, and again, for rookies you would think. The same should go for Dylan Windler, but he seemingly flashed knockdown shooting ability in the Cavs voluntary in-market bubble, which was a positive.

Next. 3 reasons Collin Sexton should be Cavs' primary option for foreseeable future. dark

And the Belmont product, who hit 40.6 percent of his 534 three-point attempts in a four-year collegiate career, is a player I can’t wait to see next season. So we’ll see as far as if the proposal goes through.