The NBA has finally set a target date to resume the 2019-2020 season. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told the board of governors that July 31 is a target date for the league's return. A lot can happen between now and then, but if everything goes according to plan, the NBA season could return right when the NFL preseason is about to kick off. The NBA season has been suspended since March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The question is how will the rest of the season be formatted? Charania also reported the NBA discussed four competition scenarios for the restart. The first is having just 16 teams and they would go directly to the playoffs. Second, 20 teams return and will have a group/stage play. The third is having 22 teams return and the games played will determine seeding with a play-in tournament for the final seed(s). And the fourth scenario is having all 30 teams return to finish out the regular season with 72 games with a play-in tournament.
According to ESPN, the majority of general managers have voted to restart the season by going straight into the playoffs. All 30 GMs were given a survey and 16 said they would prefer the league to return with just 16 teams competing for the championship. The seedings for the playoffs would be based on where the teams were in the standings as of March 12.
It's clear the NBA is taking its time to make sure the players, coaches and staff members are healthy and safe before they can resume the season. "Essentially what I've told my folks over the last week is we should just accept that at least for the month of April, we won't be in a position to make any decisions," Silver said in an interview with TNT's Ernie Johnson backing in April, as transcribed by ESPN. "I don't think that necessarily means that, on May 1, we will be [in that position], but at least I know that just to settle everyone down a little bit."