NBA news has been dominated by talks of the season returning at some point under some unusual format, but we never had a date for when that resumption could come. Until now.
Shams Charania of The Atheltic is reporting that NBA commissioner Adam Silver is targeting July 31st as the day the NBA returns. That’s over two months away, but it does give us something to look forward to.
How the season looks when it returns remains to be seen. There certainly won’t be fans in attendance and it seems like all the games will be held in a centralized locations. It hasn’t even been decided how many teams will actually come back to play.
Sources: The NBA discussed four competition scenarios for restart with Board of Governors today:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 29, 2020
- 16 teams: Directly to playoffs
- 20: Group/stage play
- 22: Games to determine seeding, play-in tournament for final seed(s)
- 30: 72-game regular season, with play-in tourney
If the league were to go to the group/stage play or play-in tournament options and stick with the traditional East/West format, then the Charlotte Hornets would be in the picture. They currently are the 10-seed in the East (despite being 19 games under .500), which puts them in contention for a final playoff spot—a much more competitive Western Conference playoff race is the only reason for this.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan hasn’t been silent in the matter, saying that player safety should take priority in all this. We’ll see if that means games for the Hornets in the coming months.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan advocated on the call for player safety, and not simply having players return for meaningless games, sources said. Given the NBA is prioritizing health and safety first and foremost, 30 team return is unlikely. https://t.co/03pAvpDPi7— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 29, 2020
One thing that hasn’t really been discussed in all this chatter is how this extended break in the middle of the 2019-20 season will affect future seasons. Having the playoffs in August and September will surely push back the start of the 2020-2021 (maybe just 2021?) season by a couple months. Will this be the start of a permanent shift in the timing of the schedule? Will next season be truncated as well? More answers to come at some point maybe who even knows anymore.