Basketball will be back.
The NBA’s Board of Governors has approved a plan to restart the season after being suspended three months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press and other media outlets reported.
Breaking: The NBA’s Board of Governors has voted to approve the league’s 22-team format to restart the 2019-2020 season in Orlando, source tells @wojespn. pic.twitter.com/tvhwEoT3To— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 4, 2020
The 2019-2020 season will be played in Orlando at Walt Disney World’s ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex starting in late July, the AP reported.
ESPN reported that the league will have 22 teams participating -- 13 from the Western Conference, nine from the Eastern Conference. They would play eight regular-season games followed by a possible play-in tournament for the eighth seed and playoffs.
About 170 regular-season games will be canceled under the plan, the AP reported.
The Milwaukee Bucks, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors already secured their playoff berths before the season came to an abrupt halt. Eight other teams -- the Miami Heat, the Indiana Pacers, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Denver Nuggets, the Utah Jazz, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets -- also have earned spots to the postseason. The Dallas Mavericks is just about there. Nine teams are left to try to get into the last three slots. The Brooklyn Nets, the Orlando Magic and the Washington Wizards are competing for two spots in the Eastern Conference. The Memphis Grizzlies, the Portland Trail Blazers, the New Orleans Pelicans, the Sacramento Kings, the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns are competing for the lone slot in the West, the AP reported.
The draft lottery is scheduled for Aug. 25 with the draft happening on Oct. 15, ESPN reported.
There will be a training camp June 30 with travel to Orlando happening on July 7, The Athletic reported.
Sources: The NBA informed the Board of Governors of scheduled dates:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 4, 2020
- Training camp: June 30, July 7 travel to Orlando
- 2019-20 season: July 31
- Free agency: Oct. 18
- 2020-21 targets: Nov. 10 training camp, Dec. 1 opening night (can remain fluid)
The league and the National Basketball Players Association are still hammering out what medical protocols will be followed, the AP reported.
Today would have been the start of the NBA Finals if it weren’t for the coronavirus pandemic.
The NBA has not made an official statement yet.
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