The NHL has already announced its plans for resuming its season, and it sounds like the NBA may be the next league to follow. Friday saw ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne report that owners are set to approve a season-resumption plan for between 20 and 22 teams this coming Thursday, with that plan beginning in June and involving teams playing at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando. Wojnarowski added some interesting new details in an ESPN.com piece Tuesday, particularly that the current plan envisions wrapping up the postseason by Oct. 12. Here’s more from his piece:
As the NBA models a 22-team format for the season’s proposed resumption beginning July 31 in Orlando, Florida, a timeline shared with teams as a last possible date for a Finals Game 7 lands on Oct. 12, sources told ESPN.
Commissioner Adam Silver is expected to have a proposal to take to a vote of the NBA’s Board of Governors on Thursday, sources said.
The expectation is that the NBA draft and the opening of free agency would follow in sequential order in October, sources said.
Wojnarowski goes on to note that the 22-team format (which would feature the eight teams currently in playoff position in each conference, plus six more teams within six games of their respective conferences’ eighth seed (New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento and Phoenix in the Western Conference and Washington in the Eastern Conference) is expected to be approved, and that while the board of governors needs to provide three-quarters support for any proposed plan, that support is expected to materialize.
Of course, there are still a lot of details to be worked out here, and there’s still room for change before this proposal goes to a vote Thursday. But the details Wojnarowski added Tuesday are notable, especially when it comes to Oct. 12 as the last possible playoff date. That gives a firmer timeline than anything we’ve seen so far, and it provides some context for what the league’s planned timetable is for the remainder of the 2019-20 season and playoffs (and also for activities after the season, including the draft and free agency). We’ll see what happens with this Thursday, but this report does provide some more information on what’s under consideration.