Home Sports The next NBA season is completely in flux

The next NBA season is completely in flux

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Friday is the six-month mark of the Knicks’ last regular-season game.

With the draft being pushed back from Oct. 16 to mid-November, league sources told The Post that the season opener will almost certainly be pushed back until after Jan. 1 – with no consensus on even the month.

According to a source, some league executives would like to see next season’s opener land on Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 18 — considering the climate of the times.

However, sources have suggested the NBA is completely open-minded about a starting date for February – and March has not been completely ruled out either.

“The league may want to wait as a long as possible so fans can be there,’’ one NBA source said. “They may want to wait for a vaccine and that may not happen by mid-January.’’

Frank Ntilikina and RJ. Barrett
Frank Ntilikina and RJ. BarrettNBAE via Getty Images

Some players threatened to cancel the season in the Orlando bubble last month after Jacob Blake was shot by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Beginning the season on MLK Day would seem appropriate in that regard.

MLK Day has long been a staple of the NBA season, in which nationally televised games are played from noon to midnight. If mid-January is when the first games take place, that will mean the Knicks will have gone more than ten months without a regular-season game. They last played March 11 in Atlanta, when the season got halted for the pandemic.

That is why the Knicks and the rest of the “Delete 8’’ will begin their voluntary mini-camps on Monday, as new hire Tom Thibodeau makes his coaching debut with the team.

According to a league source, the Knicks expect most of the team to participate for some part of the three weeks. They will also host a few players who aren’t on the 15-man roster but have G-League contracts.

The first week of mini-camp is only individual workouts, but all players have to be tested for COVID-19 each day. The last two weeks are group workouts in which the team has to be secluded in a bubble environment. The Knicks are planning to stay in a hotel.

As such, some Knicks players will only participate in the individual workouts and opt out of the bubble portion, which includes group practices and intrasquad scrimmages.

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