It looks more and more like the 2019-20 NBA season will resume sometime in July. The league’s board of governors will hold a virtual meeting on Friday, May 29, to further discuss when, where, and how the season will resume. The meeting will not include a formal vote on any of the proposed plans to return to play.
Where & When
The league has been conducting conversations with officials at The Walt Disney Company. The NBA is interested in using the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida. It looks as though play would begin in July, probably closer to the end of the month.
How Part I
The plan to return would begin with the recalling of players that would start with an initial two-week quarantine period. Coronavirus testing will play a key role throughout the entire process and, of course, would be a big part of the quarantine period.
After the two-week quarantine, there would be a one- to two-week period of individual workouts at team facilities. That would be followed by two to three weeks of formal training camp. Games would resume sometime closer to the end of July.
How Part II
The biggest question to be answered – and it won’t be answered on Friday’s call – is exactly how the NBA decides to proceed. The NHL recently declared its regular season over and will resume with a 24-team playoff tournament.
There are a number of ideas floating around in regards to the NBA including a play-in tournament and a soccer-style pool-play tournament. The end result might be a combination of both. When surveyed, league general managers liked the idea of pool play where teams would be separated into groups. Each team would play the others in its group a certain number of times. The top one or two teams in each group would advance to a more conventional style postseason.
Players like Portland’s Damian Lillard have stated they don’t want to come back to play a bunch of meaningless games. Lillard likes the play-in idea since his Trail Blazers are just 3.5 games behind eighth-place Memphis in the Western Conference.
Other teams like Golden State and New York would only be interested in a plan that gives them an opportunity to make the postseason. Other teams are not keen on that idea because a team like the Warriors (15-50) could get hot and unseat a team that had a much better regular season.
The NBA’s plan probably will not be finalized until mid-June.