Key Dates for the 2023-24 NBA Season: From Opening Night to the NBA Finals

We break down the biggest dates, deadlines, and events ahead of the upcoming 2023-24 NBA season.

Oct 19, 2023 • 09:38 ET • 4 min read
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in NBA action.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The wait is finally over! The NBA returns on Tuesday, October 24 with a star-studded two-game slate featuring a quartet of top-tier championship contenders. The Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets get the party started at 7:30 p.m. ET in a highly anticipated rematch of their Western Conference Finals series.

Then, it's off to San Francisco, as the Phoenix Suns go toe-to-toe with the Golden State Warriors at 10:00 p.m. ET. There's plenty of intrigue in the nightcap as future Hall of Famer Chris Paul will face his former team for the first time after being unceremoniously traded in the offseason.

Opening Night always gets lots of attention, but there are many more noteworthy events and deadlines on the NBA schedule that deserve just as much fanfare. Here are 14 more can’t-miss dates that every NBA fan should circle on their calendar.

Nov. 9, 2023: NBA Mexico City Game

The NBA will celebrate the 31st anniversary of its Mexico City Game with a Southeast Division grudge match between the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic at Arena CDMX. Expect Paolo Banchero and the Magic to have revenge on their minds after losing three of their four matchups to the Hawks a season ago.

Dec. 9, 2023: NBA In-Season Championship Game

It took a few years, but the NBA is finally adopting the same in-season tournament employed by the WNBA since 2021. The 30-team competition will culminate in a Final Four in Las Vegas on December 9, with the winner from each conference laying it all on the line for the inaugural NBA Cup two days later.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics have the shortest NBA In-Season Tournament odds, but it remains to be seen how motivated either club will be to extend maximum effort so early in the season, especially while incorporating key new players into their respective lineups.

Team DraftKings
Browns Milwaukee Bucks +900
Browns  Boston Celtics +900
Browns Denver Nuggets +1,000
Browns Phoenix Suns +1,100
Browns Golden State Warriors +1,200
Browns Cleveland Cavaliers +1,300
Browns Los Angeles Lakers +1,300
Browns Philadelphia 76ers +1,400
Browns Miami Heat +1,500
Browns Sacramento Kings +1,500

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, October 12, 2023.

Dec. 25, 2023: NBA Christmas Day Showcase

Christmas Day is the most wonderful time of the year for basketball fans as the NBA rolls out five marquee matchups. Even if you don’t like hoops, it’s an excellent excuse to get away from your overbearing in-laws for an hour or two.

This year's yule tide schedule features a who's-who of former MVPs including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, and professional malcontent James Harden, who will almost certainly be on Santa's naughty list.

Time Matchup Broadcaster
12:00 p.m. ET Milwaukee Bucks vs. New York Knicks ESPN
2:30 p.m. ET Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets ESPN, ABC
5:00 p.m. ET Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers ESPN, ABC
8:00 p.m. ET Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat ESPN
10:30 p.m. ET Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns ESPN

Jan. 11, 2024: NBA Paris Game

The City of Lights will get a taste of NBA basketball in January when the Brooklyn Nets butt heads with the Cleveland Cavaliers at Accor Arena. The game will air live on beIN SPORTS and NBA League Pass, where it will be available to fans in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Jan. 23-27, 2024: NBA Rivals Week

The NBA is a league built on rivalries: Celtics vs. Lakers; Knicks vs. Heat; Dillon Brooks vs. Daniel Theis' crotch. The Association is finally making the most of these classic clashes with a thrilling 11-game slate culminating in a tripleheader on ABC on January 27.

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Feb. 8, 2024: NBA Trade Deadline

The 2023 NBA Trade Deadline featured plenty of drama, with Kevin Durant and Mikal Bridges swapping zip codes in a dizzying 12-player deal, and Russell Westbrook briefly going to Utah in a three-team deal that netted the Lakers D'Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, and Jarred Vanderbilt.

The Mavericks also got in the mix with a heavily-hyped deal for Kyrie Irving that resulted in plenty of headlines, but shockingly few wins. Only time will tell which players will change addresses this year, but rest assured, real estate agents will be standing by.

Feb 16-18, 2024: NBA All-Star Festivities

Gentlemen, start your engines! The NBA All-Star Game will return to Indianapolis for the first time since 1985. The Pacers were originally scheduled to host the exhibition matchup in 2021 before Rudy Gobert manhandled a microphone and caused the entire world to shut down.

Although the Stifle Tower may not be in attendance, the Pacers are likely to be well represented in the weekend's many festivities. Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner are both deserving of All-Star nods, while sharpshooter Buddy Hield is widely expected to participate in his fourth 3-point contest.

April 16-19, 2024: NBA Play-In Tournament begins

It’s hard to say which invention is better: the NBA’s Play-In Tournament or sliced bread. Since introducing the tourney in 2021, the regular season has taken on greater significance, tanking has been reduced, and fans have been treated to “Holy @%$! Did you see that?!” moments like this:

April 20, 2024: NBA Playoffs begin

The regular season is fun, but nothing compares to the sheer intensity of the playoffs. Buckle up as the Top 16 remaining teams blaze a path to glory.

May 6-7, 2024: NBA Conference Semifinals begin

It’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff as the top remaining eight teams move one step closer to hoisting the coveted Larry O'Brien Trophy.

May 21-22, 2024: NBA Conference Finals begin

The Eastern Conference and Western Conference crowns will be up for grabs as the top four remaining teams duke it out.

May 12, 2024: NBA Draft Lottery

Representatives from the league’s 14 bottom feeders will dust off their lucky rabbit feet for a chance to nab the top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Expect plenty of weird knickknacks and loads of awkward small talk as the picks are revealed.

June 6, 2024: NBA Finals begin

The NBA’s annual title series tips off on June 6, but the big question is, who will be playing? The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks opened with identical +400 NBA championship odds after a summer spent wheeling and dealing. The Celtics solidified their roster by acquiring by a pair of bona fide All-Stars in Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday, while the Bucks made the splashiest move of the offseason by trading for seven-time All-NBA guard Damian Lillard. Grab some popcorn and enjoy the show, because only one of these Eastern Conference Goliaths can advance to basketball’s biggest stage.

June 27, 2024: NBA Draft

The first pick in the 2023 NBA Draft was a no-brainer, with the Spurs settling on Victor Wembanyama months in advance. There should be considerably more intrigue this year, however, as Matas Buzelis, Ron Holland, and Zaccharie Risacher could all go first, depending upon which team is selecting.

The good news for scouts is that Buzelis and Holland will both suit up for the G League Ignite this season, so watching the 18-year-old phenoms won't necessitate an extra charter flight to some far flung corner of the world.

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