We hope your championship hangover is over, because the Los Angeles Lakers will be playing basketball sooner than you’d typically expect as the 2020-21 NBA season is now set to tip-off on December 22nd. This offseason, the Lakers will be looking to re-tool the roster as opposed to rebuilding as they have in many of the past few years, as they will (almost certainly) have LeBron James and Anthony Davis under contract for the 2020-21 season. With those two at the top of the roster, it’d be almost impossible to put together a roster that’s not at least contending for a championship.
Still, Rob Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers’ brass will have to navigate this upcoming offseason while figuring out what free agents they can retain, and what free agents from other teams could come in to replace Lakers lost to free agency.
We currently do not know the full team schedules for everyone in the Association, but we do now know the important dates to monitor for the rest of the 2020 offseason. Here are the dates to keep in mind for the Lakers before the season starts on December 22nd (this post will continue to be updated as more important dates are announced).
November 18th – 2020 NBA Draft: The Lakers do not have a second-round pick in this year’s draft, but they do have their own first-round pick that is slated at 28th out of 30 first-round picks. They may use it to add a low-cost, young player to develop over years (which they seem to be doing currently with Talen Horton-Tucker), but the team may also package it in a trade to attain a player that could impact their championship hopes as soon as this upcoming season.
November 19th – Deadline for players to opt-in or opt-out of options: Although Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Anthony Davis are reportedly set to decline their player options, we are still in the dark regarding the decisions of Avery Bradley and JaVale McGee. They will have to make their decisions by the day after the draft.
November 20th – Free agency negotiations can begin: At 6:00 p.m. EST, teams can start to have negotiations with players regarding their free agencies. This start time will be extremely respected by organizations as it is every year, as NO teams have conversations with players before the valid start times since that would be AGAINST THE RULES.
November 22nd – Free agency deals can be signed: Those discussions can put pen to paper at 12:01 a.m. EST on Nov. 22nd.
December 1st – Teams can report to training camp: The Lakers will open their training camp on, or right after this date. All players will have to report to their teams’ hometowns the day before (per Shams Charania/The Athletic).
December 4th OR 6th – Teams can begin group practices
December 11th – 19th – Preseason games begin: The Lakers will play the Clippers in two games, followed up by two games against the Suns. Check out the full schedule here.
December 21st – Last day for super max and rookie extensions to be signed: This is important regarding Kyle Kuzma, as this would be the last day for the Lakers to give him an extension on top of his current rookie deal. If they don’t by this date, he will be a restricted free agent in 2021. He has reportedly been wanting a sizable contract from whatever team wants to give it to him.
December 22nd – Here we go: The 2020-21 NBA regular season starts
March 5th – 10th – All-Star Break: There will be no All-Star Game this year.
May 16th – The regular season ends: The play-in tournament for the 7-10 seeds will be from the 17th until the 21st with the first-round matchups starting the 22nd.
Check back here as we update this post with more dates, specifically dates related to opt-out and guaranteed contract deadlines.