Washington, 30 May 2020 (dpa/MIA) – NBA commissioner Adam Silver told owners on Friday that July 31 is the target date for resuming the season, according to sports broadcaster The Athletic.
The owners did not reach an unanimous agreement on how the league will return as they voted on four possible scenarios.
In a survey, sports broadcaster ESPN reported 16 of the NBA‘s 30 general managers voted to move directly to the playoffs with just 16 teams.
Another scenario was for 20 teams in a group stage to determine playoff teams and seeding. The third possibility was for 22 teams to play to determine seeding, with a play-in tournament for the final berth or berths.
The fourth was all 30 teams completing a 72-game schedule, followed by a play-in tourney, the article by ESPN said.
Appearing on ESPN’s The Jump, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the unique circumstances was a chance to experiment and learn.
“I’m confident we’ll take advantage of it and do something differently. I just think that’s smart from a business perspective and think the players want that as well,” Cuban said.
“The only certainty I have is that it’s gonna be safety first.”
Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry said the owners would use the weekend to consider the proposals and a decision could be made as early as next week, he said on CNBC on Thursday.
Last week, an NBA spokesperson said the league considers the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as the “front-runner” to host a possible resumption of their season without fans.
The number of teams increases the number of players, team personnel, game officials and possibly family members who need to be tested for the virus. All but five teams have opened their practice facilities to players on a limited basis for workouts and treatment.
The next steps would be practices with full rosters, 14 days of quarantine and two to three weeks of training camp through June and July.
International players who returned to their native countries when the season was suspended, such as Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic of the Mavericks, have clearance to return to the United States regardless of any travel restrictions.