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NBA Planning July 31 Season Restart

NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, has informed the board of governors the NBA is planning to resume its 2019-20 season on July 31, according to The Athletic.

The league reportedly discussed its plans during a board of governors meeting, presenting four possible scenarios for how to complete the season, which was suspended on March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the options would be to cancel the remainder of the regular season games, with the top 16 teams heading straight to the playoffs, to which 16 of the 30 NBA general managers that were polled preferred that option.

The NBA is reportedly also considering restarting the season with either 20 or 22 teams involved, with the final few playoff positions to be determined with either a play-in tournament or by group-stage play similar to the World Cup format.

The widely debated playoff format option to re-seed the 16 playoff teams regardless of conference was reportedly supported by 14 GMs, with the remaining 16 supporting keeping the traditional format, seeding teams 1-8 across both the eastern and western conferences.

The survey also found GMs would desire greater roster flexibility across teams once the season resumes, whether by increasing player numbers or providing more options to replace injured or sick players.

It has also been reported the NBA is planning on using the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World in Orlando, Florida as a host for all games as well as training camps to help minimise the risk involved with the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to ESPN reports, the NBA is planning an official vote on Thursday with the league’s board of governors, with owners expected to approve Silver’s recommendation on a format to restart the season in Orlando.