The NBA's Board of Governors approved a plan Thursday for the 2019-20 season to resume July 31, which included a target for the 2020-21 campaign to begin on Dec. 1:
Target NBA schedule from '19-'20 to '20-'21 season ∙ Training camp - July 9-11 ∙ '19-'20 season - July 31-Oct. 12 ∙ Draft lottery - Aug. 25 ∙ NBA Draft - Oct. 15 ∙ Free agency - Oct. 18 ∙ '20-'21 training camp - Nov. 10 ∙ '20-'21 season start - Dec. 1 (via @wojespn) https://t.co/H1C8N60DKn
However, NBA Players Association executive director Michele Roberts is "surprised" by the notion that next season could start that soon:
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
Many of dates the NBA shared with teams today -- including Draft Lottery, Draft -- are considered tentative. The NBA and NBPA have a long list of financial and compeititve items to negotiate for the 2020-21 season, included with a Nov. 10 camp opening off an October 12 Game 7. https://t.co/o4w31CZWn4
Only the 22 winningest of the league's 30 teams will resume action at ESPN Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The remaining schedule will be played in one location without fans to protect personnel from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The NBA announced the suspension of this season March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.
"It's time," Roberts told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne on May 26 about the season restarting. "It's been two-and-a-half months of, 'what if?' My players need some level of certainty. I think everybody does."
Roberts also called players from every team to gauge the consensus feeling about returning.
At the time the hiatus began, only the 53-12 Milwaukee Bucks, 49-14 Los Angeles Lakers, 46-18 Toronto Raptors and 43-21 Boston Celtics had clinched playoff berths.
The NBA's official release outlined how the playoffs will be organized:
"The season restart would begin with eight "seeding games" for each returning team and include the possibility of a play-in tournament for the eighth and final playoff seed in each conference depending on combined records across regular-season games and seeding games. Once the 16-team playoff field is set, the NBA Playoffs would proceed in a traditional conference-based format with four rounds and best-of-seven series in each round. The NBA Finals would end no later than Oct. 12."
Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the plan was approved on a 29-1 vote, with the Portland Trail Blazers as the lone team to vote against.