NBA looking at condensed schedule for 2020-21 season, Hawks GM says

The NBA is considering a condensed 2020-21 season due to the impact of the  coronavirus, Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk said Tuesday.

The league is set to begin again with 22 teams at the end of July. But since the playoffs run into the period when the following season would normally start, Schlenk said the new one could begin in December.

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“If you’re going from the middle of October to starting the season the first of December, if you are one of the teams in the Finals, that’s quick,” Schlenk said during a conference call with reporters, according to Reuters.

“But they want to try to stay as close to the historical timing as possible. So I don’t think this is something you’ll see stick. They’ve talked to us on one of our GM calls that it might be a condensed schedule next year. More so than in the past. As you know, there’s been a big drive to avoid back-to-backs and certainly four in five nights, but we might find ourselves in a situation next year where it would be much more condensed.”

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The Hawks were among the teams left out of the 22-team format that NBA approved last week. Atlanta will not be able to have normal workouts for quite some time.

“Because of this circumstance, I think the league wants to stay as close to its original schedule as possible,” Schlenk said. “There’s a lot of different reasons for that — the college season, the draft and how all of that plays out. So that’s why they’ve laid out a timeline where it would be a very quick turnaround from the NBA Finals to the start of the season.”

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The Hawks finished the season 20-47 and finished toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference.