As the NBA Board of Governors meeting approaches, the league is envisioning a resumed season that begins on July 31 in Orlando and ends 10 weeks later with a potential Finals Game 7 on October 12, Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
All the games would be played without fans and with limited staff at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World outside Orlando.
Training camps would re-open in a month and run four weeks, two in teams’ training facility, then another two at WDW.
The expectation is that the NBA draft and the opening of free agency would follow in sequential order in October, sources told ESPN. Then, the 2020-21 season would start up around Christmas.
The proposed schedule is based on a 22-team format, Woj wrote. The format involving nine Eastern Conference teams and 13 from the West will have to be approved at Friday’s Board meeting.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are still discussing details on a format, and there is still room for the league to maneuver on the structure of a return-to-play ideas. The Board of Governors requires a three-fourths passage of the 30 teams on a plan, but there’s an expectation among owners that they’ll fall into line and overwhelmingly approve the commissioner’s recommendation on a plan, sources said.
Specifically, in the 22-team scenario, the six teams within six games of a playoff seed would compete with the No. 8 seeds from each conference in an eight-team single-elimination tournament. The two eighth seeds on March 11 were Orlando and Memphis. The extra teams would include Washington plus Portland, New Orleans, San Antonio, Sacramento, and Phoenix.
In an interview on CNBC Tuesday afternoon, Rockets owner Tillman Ferttita told Tyler Mathieson that the NBA will resume at the “end of July.”
The NBA, he said, “definitely has their act together. we all want this to happen ... We are going to play basketball at the end of July. Is it going to be 16 teams or 30 teams or 22 teams? We’re all going to get together on Friday.”
Earlier Tuesday, Keith Smith of RealGM, a former WDW employee, tweeted that Disney and the NBA have agreed that WDW’s Coronado Springs Resort will likely be the primary host resort for the league. Sources, Smith added, say an agreement may be reached this week, which will allow preparations to move quickly.
- Sources: Proposed date for Game 7 of NBA Finals is Oct. 12 - Adrian Wojnarowski - ESPN
- Sources reveal details of NBA’s proposal of 22-team restart plan - Shams Charania - The Athletic NBA