This is the week we’ve been waiting for: the NBA’s official return-to-play. Games begin Thursday with the Nets opening their seeding schedule on Friday afternoon vs. the Magic at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
There’s still a final scrimmage game Monday but you’ll have to plan for it. A scheduling conflict with a Yankees regular season game will prevent fans from watching it live without FOX Sports Go.
Some dates are still TBD —”to be determined” — and some have changed at least once. So hang in there.
—July 27 - Nets final scrimmage vs. Jazz at 5:30 p.m. The scrimmage and Yankee game do conflict. So game will be live on FOX Sports Live and on tape delay following the Yankee game on YES.
—July 30-August 14 - NBA regular season games —the “seeding games— restart at ESPN Worldwide of Sports on Walt Disney World campus outside Orlando. Nets first game will be against the Magic.
—July 30 - All 30 teams —not just the 22 “bubble” teams— will be allowed to send up to five people to the games, including a governor, assistant governors, and a senior basketball operations executive. They, too, will be subject to quarantine and must stay outside the “bubble.” They will be permitted to watch games only from certain designated seats and must not have contact with players at “bubble” hotels. Will Joe Tsai show up?
—July 31 - Nets play Magic at 2:30 p.m. at ESPN Wide World of Sports. YES Network will televise. Nets shutdown ends after 122-day layoff.
—Late July - WNBA begins its 22-game regular season in Bradenton.
—August 2 - Nets play Wizards at 2 p.m. on YES
—August 3 - Deadline for NCAA players to withdraw from Draft.
—August 4 - Nets play Bucks at 1:30 p.m. on YES and NBA TV.
—August 5 - Nets play Celtics at 9 p.m. on YES and ESPN
—August 7 - Nets play Kings at 5 p.m. on YES.
—August 9 - Nets play Clippers at 9 p.m. on YES and NBA TV.
—August 11 - Nets play Magic for second time at 1 p.m. on YES.
—August 13 - Nets play Trail Blazers at TBD on YES.
—August 15-16 - Play-in Tournament (if necessary). If the Wizards get within 3.5 games of the eighth seed, then they will play the eighth seed in a two-game tournament. The Wizards would have to win both games to qualify, the eighth seed only one game.
—August 17 - First round of playoffs opens.
—August 17 - NBA Draft early entry deadline. College and international players who had previously elected NOT to enter the 2020 NBA draft now have until August 17 to revisit those decisions and potentially enter now.
—August 20 - NBA Draft Lottery. If Nets fail to make the playoffs, they will retain their own pick, which is lottery-protected and currently held by the Timberwolves. In that case, the Timberwolves would get the Nets first round pick in 2021.
—Late August - A possible Draft Combine may take place with medical testing, player interviews and, possibly, measurements. The league said in a memo sent teams last week that it is still evaluating potential dates and formats to hold the event.
—August 28: WNBA Trade Deadline, 8:00 pm ET
—August 30 - Family/guests of players arrive at WDW. Family members and friends will be permitted to enter the “bubble” as all but eight remaining playoff teams head home. Guests will have to do a three-day quarantine in the Orlando area away from the “bubble,” then a four-day quarantine on the NBA campus before having the abilities to move within the grounds.
—August 31-September 13 - Second round of playoffs opens
—September 6 - WNBA Player Playoff eligibility from waivers, after midnight
—September 12 — WNBA Regular Season ends
—Mid-September - WNBA Playoffs begin
—September 15-28 - Conference Finals begin
—October 6 - Last day to withdraw from the draft (international players)
—October 13 - Last possible date for Game 7 of NBA Finals
—Mid-October - Last possible date for Game 7 of WNBA Playoffs.
—October 16 - NBA Draft. Assume it will be virtual and not at Barclays Center where it’s been held since 2013. The Nets hold the 76ers first rounder and the Clippers second, roughly Nos. 20 and 55. If they fail to make the playoffs, they will retain their own first. Otherwise, it will go to Minnesota.
—October 17 - Nets must submit qualifying offer to Dzanan Musa (third year) or he will become a restricted free agent in 2021.
—October 18 - Free agency opens. Joe Harris is the Nets big (unrestricted) free agent. Also, Nets need to make a decision on Wilson Chandler, an unrestricted free agent. Both Jarrett Allen (rookie contract) and Rodions Kurucs (veteran contract) eligible for extensions beginning in 2021-22. All four substitute players — Jamal Crawford, Lance Thomas, Justin Anderson and Donta Hall — will be unrestricted free agents, as will Tyler Johnson.
—October 19-23 - Signing moratorium
—October 24 - Teams can sign free agents
—November 10 - Training camp for 2020-21 season opens in team practice facilities (tentative)
—November 24 - Rodions Kurucs next court hearing on his domestic abuse case, his fifth. No date has been set for a trial.
—December 1 - the 202-21 season opens (tentative)