Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has emerged as the "clear front-runner" to host NBA games at a neutral site amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused the NBA season's suspension.
Charania and Amick further reported that the league was hoping for games beginning in mid-July.
There is no official word from the NBA about if and when the league will resume the 2019-20 season. Per Charania, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told the league's Board of Governors on May 12 that he was looking to make a decision on that front within the next 2-4 weeks.
It's also unclear what the NBA will decide in regards to its regular-season and postseason format. Teams had roughly five weeks' worth of regular-season games remaining before a two-month postseason, but playing all of the scheduled matchups out from a mid-July starting point would bring the league into mid-October for the NBA Finals.
A Christmastime start has been discussed for 2020-21, but even that would seem to be a reach if the NBA played out a full slate, with the Finals participants only getting a couple of months of rest between competitive games.
Marc Berman of the New York Post provided more information on the season format:
"The NBA has considered bringing in all 30 teams and staging a short regular season. There's also talk of just the 16 teams currently in playoff position.
"The compromise scenario, as The Post reported, is adding eight extra teams to the playoff clubs — four apiece from the East and West — to engage in a play-in tournament into the main event. That would provide incentive to teams out of the playoff race, such as the Knicks, who are in 12th place in the East. The Nets are in playoff position at No. 7."
Mike Fisher of Sports Illustrated reported that the league is looking into a truncated regular-season finish in which each team would end up with 70 games at minimum.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst explained the significance of that number on March 16 (h/t RealGM):
"What they would love to do is to get to 70 games. And the reason is it's 70 is a key number is because that is what the deliverable is to the regional sports networks. They are promised 70 games.
"Now, just because a team like the Lakers, for example, to get to 70 games...they wouldn't necessarily be able to deliver on that because they've had a lot of national games, but getting to 70 would be helpful in retaining revenue because they wouldn't have to refund some to the local TV."
Each NBA team has played between 64-67 games, so a 70-game marker may have been what Dinwiddie was referencing when he referenced "those last five games."
In other words, teams would play five or so regular-season games over a few weeks before starting the playoffs.
Fans should get an answer soon, though, as the NBA appears closer to rendering a final decision based off the week's news and rumors.