Report: NBA may offer 50-game season if players insist on January start

In this Oct. 8, 2019, file photo, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference before an NBA preseason basketball game. (Jae C. Hong, File, AP)

The NBA may offer its players a 50-game season if the union insists on a mid-January start date rather than the Dec. 22 proposal, according to The New York Times' Marc Stein.

Per Stein, the league's television partners do not want the 2020-21 season to go on past mid-July or clash with the Tokyo Olympics. If the season does indeed get limited to 50 games, players would have their 2020-21 salaries significantly reduced.

The present proposal from the league is a 72-game plan that would have each team play around 14 games a month through May. The playoffs would then follow and go until mid-July, ending prior to the Olympics and allowing the league schedule to get back on track for 2021-22.

Players have been resistant to the idea of a Dec. 22 start date with the Finals having only ended on Oct. 11, and would reportedly prefer Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18) as the tip-off for the new season.

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