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Report: Tentative NBA schedule takes form with opening night on Dec. 22

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Start the countdown to opening night.

Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors - Game One Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The landscape of the 2020-21 NBA season became clearer on Sunday.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA has a tentative schedule in place as it looks to kick off a new season with opening night occurring on Dec. 22. Most reports suggest that the NBA will play a shorter 72-game slate and is eyeing May 16 as the final day of the regular season.

The new NBA schedule includes holding an All-Star break from March 5-10 even though there will be no All-Star Game, while putting in a Play-In Tournament for the 7-to-10 seeds just after the conclusion of the regular season.

The Play-in Tournament to decide the final two seeds in the playoff field is slotted to take place from May 17-21, and still needs to be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors, per Wojnarowkski.

A day after the Play-in Tournament ends, the NBA playoffs will start and last nearly two months as the NBA Finals will be held from July 8-22.

Wojnarowksi also reported Sunday morning that trade season in the NBA can begin as soon as Monday with the NBA expected to end its moratorium at noon ET.

A deadline on player and team contract options came into focus as well. Our Keith Smith cited per league sources that the vast majority of player and team option deadlines are Thursday, November 19 at 5 p.m. ET.