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ESPN: WNBA planning shortened season in Bradenton, Florida

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2020 WNBA Draft Photo by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images

While the NBA is planning to resume its season, the WNBA is looking to start its season. And it looks like both leagues will be playing in Central Florida.

ESPN is reporting the WNBA wants to play a 22-game regular season starting July 24 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, 107 miles west of ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista. IMG Academy’s basketball complex has four state-of-the-art courts, according to the facility’s website. The WNBA has 12 teams with a maximum roster size of 12 players each.

Mechelle Voepel of ESPN noted that the season, which would end in October, still has to clear several hurdles. The players have not agreed to the proposal, which has been described as tentative, as some teams are still being informed of the known details, sources told Voepel.

The WNBA was set to have a 36-game regular season this year, beginning on May 15, but the league was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. Specifics about housing and testing have not been confirmed.

The Liberty was planning to play this season at Barclays Center with overall No. 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu leading the way. The team, which is owned by Joe and Clara Tsai, is moving from the Westchester County Center for the last two years. Ionescu is one of six rookies on the New York roster as they rebuild after finishing with the league’s second worst record.

Part of the proposal might be that with a reduced season, the players would get 60% of their normal salaries, the source said. The source also anticipated that the players might have some counter proposals, according to Voepel.

Women’s National Basketball Players Association executive director Terri Jackson told ESPN that she had been gathering feedback from players all day Thursday and will continue to do so Friday and throughout the weekend.

“No decisions have been made,” Jackson told Voepel “Players are considering all their options.”