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NBA season will officially restart in Orlando

The NBA’s Board of Governors overwhelmingly voted for the season restart under some format tweaks.

2020 NBA All-Star - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Press Conference Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The NBA’s Board of Governors voted in favor of restarting the NBA season under some revised rules and formats, 29-1, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Only 22 teams will go to Orlando, 13 from the Western Conference and nine from the East. Teams will play eight games, following their normal schedule. If a team in the next eight games isn’t one of the 22 teams, they’ll just skip over to the next available team in Orlando on the schedule.

For the playoffs, despite much speculation over drastic format changes like group play mimicking the FIFA World Cup, things will be fairly standard for the most part. The playoff format will be the same as is, with the typical eight teams from each conference. The only difference will be a play-in for the final eighth seed of each conference. The Mavericks are seven games up on the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies, so they’ll likely avoid any play-in scenarios. There’s still opportunity for them to make a move in the standings before the playoffs start, however, only a few games back of the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, here’s a rundown of the important dates for the restart of the season:

  • June 30: Training camp
  • July 7: Travel to Orlando
  • July 31: 2019-2020 season resumes

How this impacts the rest of the NBA calendar is also being sorted, although it is fluid. The NBA Draft Lottery is set for August 25 and the draft on October 15. Free agency is planned to begin October 18 and the NBA is targeting November 10 for next season’s training camp and December 1 for the start of the 2020-2021 season.

While there’s been much reported on schedules, dates and formatting, how the NBA plans to keep players save amid the COVID-19 pandemic is a little cloudy. The league has picked Orlando to be a “bubble” where all NBA teams and personnel will stay. How strict that bubble is, who is allowed to come, hasn’t been clarified yet. The NBA has promised rigorous testing, but there still aren’t any concrete plans for when an NBA player tests positive, other than quarantine and isolation. The NBA has indicated a player testing positive won’t shut down this restarted season. We’ll see how that goes.

Dallas Mavericks basketball returns in little less than two months.