NBA Return Expected with 22 Teams

NBA Return
Photo Courtesy AP

“The NBA’s back.” – Adrian Wojnarowski

Much uncertainty and speculation followed the NBA’s suspension on March 11 due to the Coronavirus. Woj’s sources now expect the league’s Board of Governors to approve a proposal on Thursday to resume the 2019-2020 season. Per ESPN’s Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the NBA plans on bringing 22 teams to The Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando. Gameplay will then restart on July 31. 

According to reports, the proposed 22-team format would include the top eight teams from each conference, plus the six next-best teams. This includes:

Eastern Conference

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
  2. Toronto Raptors
  3. Boston Celtics
  4. Miami Heat
  5. Indiana Pacers
  6. Philadelphia 76ers
  7. Brooklyn Nets
  8. Orlando Magic

Western Conference

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Los Angeles Clippers
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Utah Jazz
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder
  6. Houston Rockets
  7. Dallas Mavericks
  8. Memphis Grizzlies

The Next Six

  1. Portland Trailblazers (West)
  2. New Orleans Pelicans (West)
  3. Sacramento Kings (West)
  4. San Antonio Spurs (West)
  5. Phoenix Suns (West)
  6. Washington Wizards (East)

Insiders expect each of the returning teams to play eight regular-season games. After the regular season, the eighth and ninth seeds will have a play-in tournament if the ninth seed is within four games of the eighth. Then, the playoffs would begin.

ESPN also notes that teams will likely begin training within their markets in early July. Then, they will move to Orlando for a training camp onsite. 

The Board of Governor’s call to vote on the NBA’s proposal will be held on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. ET, with many predicting an official announcement coming soon after. 

Keep an eye on Nuts and Bolts Sports on Thursday for more NBA return-to-play coverage.

Raj Sawhney
About Raj Sawhney 3 Articles
Raj Sawhney is a passionate fan of basketball and the NBA. His love of the game spans as far back as elementary school, and his experience involves close to 10 years of playing, and four years of coaching. Raj has a degree in Marketing and Journalism from The George Washington University, and he most recently wrote for VAVEL USA, where he covered the Cleveland Cavaliers and his hometown team, the Washington Wizards. Raj now writes about the entire NBA, covering games, breaking news, player moves, and much more.

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