Report: NBA to Restart Season at Disney World With 22-Team Field

The teams will play eight regular-season games for playoff seeding purposes

Report: NBA Will Restart Season With 22-Team Field in July
Giannis Antetokounmpo attempts to get open as LeBron James covers him. (Harry How/Getty)
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By Evan Bleier / June 3, 2020 2:04 pm

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Associated Press sources, the NBA will present the league’s board of governors on Thursday with a 22-team plan to restart the season at the end of July in Orlando.

The plan will call for all 16 teams that are currently in playoff position as well as five teams from the Western Conference (Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix) and one in the East (Washington) to report to Orlando for eight regular-season games that will determine playoff seeding.

If any of the extra teams finish less than four games back of the team in the eighth and final playoff spot in each conference, they will trigger a play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed.

Should the plan be approved (determining how players’ salaries will be pro-rated is still an issue), the target date to return would be July 31, with ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Disney World serving as the host site for all the games and doubling as the home for all the players, coaches and other team personnel.

Featuring three arenas, 18 hotels and an ultrahigh-speed fiber-optic connection to ESPN headquarters in Connecticut, the 20-acre complex has been vacant since mid-March. While at Disney, players and coaches will be allowed to golf and eat at outdoor restaurants as long as they maintain social distancing, according to sources

In order to make sure the league can have some semblance of a normal offseason, the last possible date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals would be October 12.

The NBA season has been suspended since March 11 when Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz became the first player in the league to test positive for COVID-19.

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