NBA governors vote to resume season with 22 teams in Orlando

The NBA approves format to resume season
The NBA approves format to resume season

The NBA board of governors approved a plan to return to play with training camp starting July 9 in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday. The format still needs approval from the NBA Players Association, who will do so on Friday.

Under the proposed format, the top 22 teams in the standings at the time the season was postponed in March will play eight regular season “seeding” games. There is a possibility of a play-in tournament for the eighth seed. All of the games, practices and housing will be at the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando.

16 teams with the best records from the Western and Eastern Conferences shake down to 13 teams from the west and nine from the east. They’re joined by teams currently within  six games of eighth place in both of the conferences. That means New Orleans, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Phoenix and Washington.

Statement from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:

“While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts. We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways.”

In addition to the resumption of the season, NBA draft and draft lottery dates were voted on. The draft date really affects Gonzaga and Washington State underclassmen that have declared for the draft. The date proposed and approved for that was October 15, meaning Corey Kispert, Joel Ayayi, Filip Petrusev and WSU’s CJ Elleby would likely have all summer to decide whether to keep their name in the draft or return to school for another season.

The lottery would be set August 25.

In terms of safety protocols, ESPN reports, “If a player tests positive for the virus, the league’s intent would be to remove that player from the team to quarantine and treat individually — and continue to test other team members as they play on.”

Factoring in the health and safety of all the employees, they’ll reportedly have to adhere to similar protocols. “For example, no staff will be allowed into players’ rooms, and hallways will be carefully managed to avoid crowding,” sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.