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Commissioner Adam Silver says NBA could target a January start for next season

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is hoping for a full, 82-game season next year.Jae C. Hong/AP/file

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is hoping for a return to an 82-game schedule in front of fans, but believes next season likely would not begin until January at the earliest.

Appearing on CNN, Silver was asked by Bob Costas what his best guess would be for when the next season would start.

“We said a week ago that the earliest we would start would be Christmas of this year,” said Silver. "But the more I’m learning, even listening to Dr. Fauci this morning, I continue to believe that we’re going to be better off getting into January.

“The goal for us next season is to play a standard season — 82 games and playoffs. Further, the goal would be to play games in home arenas in front of fans, but there’s still a lot that we need to learn.”

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The commissioner cited the need to understand more about rapid testing, and if it would be available as a way to allow fans into the venues.

The league had hoped to have the 2020 draft on Oct. 16, with free agency to follow on Oct. 18 and a start to the season in December, but last week it announced that the draft had been pushed back to Nov. 18. The date for the beginning of free agency has yet to be determined.



Follow Andrew Mahoney @GlobeMahoney.