The NBA has officially announced that its Board of Governors voted in favor of commissioner Adam Silver‘s recommendation to resume the season this summer with 22 teams in attendance, issuing a press release to confirm the news and offering several more details.
“The Board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season,” said Silver said in a statement. “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.”
Here are some of the details announced or confirmed by the league in today’s release:
- All of the dates we’ve heard within the last week, including a tentative start date of July 31, a draft date of October 15, and a 2020/21 start date of December 1, are accurate.
- As expected, once the playoffs begin, they’ll follow a traditional format — each series will be a best-of-seven, and the Eastern and Western Conference will be kept separate until the Finals.
- The draft lottery – rescheduled for August 25 – will be made up of the eight teams not involved in the league’s restart and the six teams that don’t make the postseason. Those teams’ lottery seeds and odds will be based on their records through March 11. So even if the Trail Blazers go 2-6 when play resumes and the Suns go 6-2, passing them in the standings, Phoenix will still have better lottery odds if neither team makes the playoffs.
- Note: Here’s what the odds will look like if the Grizzlies, Magic, and Nets hang onto their playoff spots.
- The rest of the draft order will be based on the 16 playoff teams’ combined records across regular season games and “seeding games,” which is what the league is calling the eight games being played this summer. For instance, the Heat (41-24) are currently projected to draft 23rd, but if they go 1-7 when play resumes, they’ll likely move up in the draft.
- June 15: Players located internationally return to their team’s market.
- June 21: All players report to their team’s market.
- June 22: Coronavirus testing begins.
- June 30: Training camps begin.
- July 7: Players travel to Orlando.
It’s still not exactly clear what the schedule will look like between July 7-31. There may be some sort of quarantine period for players. Camps figured to be resumed, and Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press reports (via Twitter) that some exhibition games are expected to take place.