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Sources: NBA Targeting Pre-Christmas Start, 72-Game Regular Season

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The NBA’s league office informed the Board of Governors on Friday that it is targeting to start the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22, three days before Christmas Day, and would like to play a 72-game campaign, sources told The Athletic.

This would mean a return close to the NBA’s normal schedule, significant financial ramifications to start early, a potential finish before the 2021 Summer Olympics, and allow a window for stars to play in the Olympics, sources said. The NBA wants to continue to incorporate the play-in tournament that was utilized in the Orlando restart to determine the eighth seed in the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs, according to sources. ESPN first reported that a Christmas start and playing fewer than 82 games would be discussed on Friday’s call.

The National Basketball Players Association would need to sign off on any plan to start the season on Dec. 22.

Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic

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Sources: Hawks Fire Lloyd Pierce, Nate McMillan to Serve as Interim Head Coach

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Atlanta has dismissed Lloyd Pierce as coach, sources tell ESPN.

ESPN Sources: Nate McMillan has accepted the interim head coaching job with the Hawks. McMillan has a 667-591 (.530) record in 16 seasons as head coach with Seattle, Portland and Indiana.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

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Sources: Joakim Noah to Retire

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13-year NBA center Joakim Noah — a two-time All-Star and former Defensive Player of the Year winner — is effectively retiring from basketball, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.

Plan is for the longtime Chicago star to eventually retire as a Bull.

Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

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Sources: Victor Oladipo Turned Down Extension from Rockets

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Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo recently turned down a two-year, $45.2 million maximum contract extension, the most the franchise could offer him before the end of the regular season, sources told ESPN.

As expected, Oladipo is pursuing a longer-term deal, sources said, something that the collective bargaining agreement doesn’t allow the Rockets to offer him until the offseason.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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