The NBA has told the National Basketball Players Association that it will present a plan of 22 teams on Thursday to restart the season on the board of the league, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
The teams going to the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex on the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida would play eight games to determine seeding of the playoffs from about July 31 before the postseason begins, the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Wednesday because the league has not released its proposal publicly.
Once the plan was approved, 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams would go to Disney and the goal is for teams to be within a playoff spot within six games at this time. Playoffs are expected to begin in August, and the NBA final is likely to last until October, the person said.
The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics already have playoff spots – and if only eight games remain, that would mean the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets would theoretically also have spots.
The Dallas Mavericks would almost certainly have a spot on the west, with a seven-game lead in eighth place in Memphis. So that would mean the Grizzlies, Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix would all be in the race for the number 8 seed from the west. To the east, Washington is six games behind number 7 Brooklyn and 5-1 / 2 games behind number 8 Orlando – so within reach of triggering a play-in series.
“I’m doing everything from a state perspective,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said at a press conference in Central Florida on Wednesday. “I don’t think you can find a better place to do this than Orlando. I’m very excited.”
DeSantis spoke on the phone Tuesday with Deputy NBA Commissioner Mark Tatum. The governor also said the state helped plan last month to host a golf game with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning – one who raised $ 20 million for coronavirus aid. And Major League Soccer announced on Wednesday a plan to restart the season in Orlando.
“Orlando really could be the epicenter of the professional sports comeback,” DeSantis said.
In order for an NBA play-in series to take place to determine the number 8 seed on either playoff bracket, the team should be in ninth place in four games from eighth place as soon as the eight game break-in schedule is scheduled. is completed. In fact, if a play-in series takes place, it would actually be a best-of-two – with the number 9 seed having to win two head-to-head matches to take over the number 8 spot.
There would also be some push for positioning the playoff in the eight-game restart. In the East, Toronto and Boston are separated by three games for the number 2 spot and Miami, Indiana and Philadelphia are separated by two games for the number 4 spot. Out West, the Clippers, Denver, Utah, Oklahoma City, and Houston are all competing for the number 2 seed on that bracket within four games of each other.
There are still some elements of the restart plan that can be changed, and other things are still under negotiation – such as how much of a percentage of their salary players lose as some games are canceled in the regular season. If 15% of the regular season is not played, which is the current estimate based on the proposal, players should give up about $ 610 million in salary for this season.
It is also unclear what will happen to the eight teams that would not compete for a postseason berth under the proposed format – Charlotte, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, New York, Cleveland, Minnesota and Golden State. If the 2020-21 NBA season kicks off at the earliest in December, which seems like a very real possibility, those teams could be playing without games for about nine months, and some have expressed concerns about what that will mean for player development.
The NBA suspended its March 11 season and became the first of the major U.S. professional leagues to do so after it was revealed that Utah’s All-Star center, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for COVID-19. The list of NBA players known to test positive eventually grew to 10 – not all of which were identified – and Commissioner Adam Silver said the actual total was even higher.
The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a 255-acre campus with multiple arenas that could host games at the same time and where, in recent years, the Jr. NBA World Championship took place. ESPN is primarily owned by Disney, one of the NBA’s broadcast partners.