While nothing is official yet, there is hope that the NBA will be back at some point this summer in some capacity. Over the last two weeks, the league has reportedly zeroed in on playing the remainder of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World in Orlando. There are several options are on the table for resuming play, including bringing 20-24 teams to Florida for a truncated regular season and the playoffs, staging a World Cup-style playoffs where teams would be grouped together in the first round or advancing straight to the playoffs with just 16 teams competing.
There are still more questions than answers surrounding the NBA‘s plan, however, clarity could be coming as soon as next week, according to Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry. During an appearance on CNBC’s “Halftime,” Lasry said that while the board of governors plans to have a meeting on Friday, a specific plan is not expected to come out of it yet.
Instead, Lasry said that NBA commissioner Adam Silver will offer up “different options” for resuming play on Friday, and board members could use the weekend to mull over the proposals. The expectation is that another meeting would occur “early next week” to vote on how the league should move forward with the resumption of play. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN later confirmed that no decisions will be made during Friday’s meeting.
“I think at the end of the day, we’ll be in Orlando at Disney,” Lasry said via CNBC. “The question is going to be will we have all 30 teams there or will we have 24; whatever the number will end up being. But hopefully, by the middle of July, we start playing again.”
Mid-July has been consistently reported for when the NBA would start playing games again, with teams starting mini-training camps at some point in June. Anything the league decides on would need to be approved by the National Basketball Players Association, and players have been very vocal about wanting to resume the season under safe conditions. Some players, like Damian Lillard, though, said he wouldn’t play if there wasn’t an adequate shot at making the playoffs. Other non-playoff teams have reportedly been weighing the pros and cons to returning, which will surely be part of the decision-making process for the league.
There still isn’t a concrete plan for the NBA on returning to play, but there’s been significant traction over the past two weeks, and it appears that the majority of those involved — players, owners, staff — want to continue the season, if possible.