The NBA is headed to Disney World.
This afternoon, the NBA’s Board of Governors officially voted to approve the league’s 22-team format to restart the 2019-2020 season in Orlando.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of The Athletic, among numerous other reports, the vote was approved today in overwhelming fashion, with 29 teams voting in favor of the season restart in Orlando and one – Portland – voting against it.
With this finalized plan, the 16 teams already in playoff position will be sent to Orlando, with New Orleans, Portland, Sacramento, Phoenix, and San Antonio also coming from the West, along with Washington in the East. The six additional teams will be brought in to fight for the eighth seed in their respective conferences.
There, the teams will play in eight final regular season games before the playoffs begin. If the ninth seed is more than four games behind the eighth seed, the eighth seed earns the final playoff spot. If they are within four games, the eighth and ninth seeds will participate in a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for the ninth.
This is the updated NBA playoff picture, including all teams set to travel to Orlando to close out the season:
1. Milwaukee Bucks: 53-12, 0 games back
2. Toronto Raptors: 46-18, 6.5 GB
3. Boston Celtics: 43-21, 9.5 GB
4. Miami Heat: 41-24, 12 GB
5. Indiana Pacers: 39-26, 14 GB
6. Philadelphia 76ers: 39-26, 14 GB
7. Brooklyn Nets: 30-24, 22.5 GB
8. Orlando Magic: 30-25, 23 GB
9. Washington Wizards: 24-40, 28.5 GB
1. Los Angeles Lakers: 49-14, 0 games back
2. Los Angeles Clippers: 44-20, 5.5 GB
3. Denver Nuggets: 43-22, 7 GB
4. Utah Jazz: 41-23, 8.5 GB
5. OKC Thunder: 40-24, 9.5 GB
6. Houston Rockets: 40-24, 9.5 GB
7. Dallas Mavericks: 40-27, 11 GB
8. Memphis Grizzlies: 32-33, 18 GB
9. Portland Trail Blazers: 29-37, 21.5 GB
10. New Orleans Pelicans: 28-36, 21.5 GB
11. Sacramento Kings: 28-36, 21.5 GB
12. San Antonio Spurs: 27-36, 22 GB
13. Phoenix Suns: 26-39, 24 GB
So when will this all take place?
According to Charania, training camp will begin on June 30, followed by a July 7 target date for an arrival in Orlando. After getting back to game shape, the league will then officially return on July 31 and continue through October 12, with the latter being the last potential date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
As reported just a bit ago, the NBA Draft will then take place on October 15, just three days after the anticipated playoff finale.
Looking ahead to the 2020-21 season, free agency will take place beginning Oct. 18, followed by Nov. 10 training camp and a Dec. 1 opening night.
Basketball is back, and it appears we’re going to get a whole lot of it starting next month.