Summer League is over, free agency is done outside of some restricted free agents, veteran minimums, and two-way deals, and the superstar trade requests are in a stalemate. Thus, in late July 2023, we are in the truly slow part of the NBA offseason a bit earlier than usual. Here are a few key remaining items to jot down on your calendar to keep an eye on the rest of the way.
The NBA schedule release would not be a big deal at any other point in the calendar year, but in the dog days of the NBA calendar, it’s something. The NBA schedule was released on August 17 last year, and August 20 the year before, so it can be expected to drop sometime in mid-August. This year will also have the addition of the NBA Midseason Tournament, but the NBA has basically already explained the schedule for that, so it shouldn’t impact the rest of the schedule much.
Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement
This is also not something I usually care too much about (in terms of the actual speeches and whatnot – the actual entrance into the Hall is very important) but is usually good for a few fun and emotional moments. This year’s Hall of Fame class is a big one, with Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Greg Popovich, Becky Hammon, and Tony Parker all getting the nod, along with a handful of more college-centered figures.
FIBA World Cup
The FIBA World Cup is the second-biggest global basketball tournament there is outside of the Olympics, and the basketball is usually top notch. While I personally don’t root for Team USA, at the start of the World Cup only Team USA’s games will probably be available to watch, so that’s how the schedule is oriented for US viewers. Team USA has five “friendlies” starting on August 7 against Puerto Rico before taking on Slovenia, Spain, Greece, and Germany – very stiff competition. The tournament itself lasts from August 25 to September 10. Team USA is part of Group C, with Jordan, New Zealand, and Greece being the other teams. Team USA’s roster is not as stacked as it will be for the Olympics, which means while it’s still good enough to win it all, it is not overloaded enough to make games non-competitive. I’m looking forward to this tournament a lot.
The Prelude to the Season
For a couple teams, namely the Timberwolves and Mavericks, training camp will open on September 30, as those teams play their first preseason games in Abu Dhabi on Oct 5 and 7. For the other 28 NBA teams, training camp begins on October 3. Preseason for other teams will start a bit later, and then run all the way until October 20. On October 23, all rosters need to be trimmed down to size (15 full contracts, 3 two-ways), and on October 24, the 2024 NBA season will begin!
That about does it for the rest of the 2023 NBA offseason. Hopefully one of Damian Lillard or James Harden gets traded to create a bunch more news and analysis, but FIBA lasting from early August to early September this year is huge, and will certainly help bridge the gap until training camp.