NBA Targeting Earlier Start Date Of July 30
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA is targeting a new start date earlier than planned. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league is aiming for a July 30 date to re-start the NBA season. The league had previously targeted July 31 to resume play.
NBA teams are set to return to practice in their host cities on June 30. Teams would then travel to The Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, Florida on July 7 to begin training camp.
“The NBA is targeting a slightly earlier date for the restart of the season in Orlando, sources tell ESPN: July 30,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
Potential Reason For NBA To Move Start Date
The NBA has yet to elaborate on the reason for moving the start date. However, a previous schedule may offer a hint.
Earlier this week, The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweeted the tentative postseason schedule for the NBA. Under Charania’s dates, there is potential for one of the league’s play-in teams to play games on three consecutive nights.
Traditionally, the NBA staggers the dates on which the top seed from each conference plays. It’s no coincidence that the NBA has allotted enough dates to stagger conference play through the first three rounds of the playoffs.
However, If both conferences were required to compete in a two-day play-in tournament, and the NBA wanted to stagger the playing dates of the top seeds, one eighth-seeded team would be required to back-to-back-to-back games August 16-18.
Moving the league’s start date up by one day could allow the NBA to schedule a day off for all 16 playoff teams between the end of the play-in tournament and the beginning of the postseason.
On Wednesday, Wojnarowski reported some players may opt to skip the return of the NBA season. Some players experiencing personal health issues, racial injustice, or family reasons may not return to action. Now, it seems franchises with players who sit out may be able to replace those players with eligible free agents.
Previously, Wojnarowski reported that injured players or players who contract COVID-19 could be replaced with free-agents.
“Players deciding against participating in Orlando could be replaced by a substitution player,” Wojnarowski tweeted. “NBA plans to allow replacements for players who test positive for COVID-19 or suffer injuries. Replaced players become ineligible for the rest of 2019-2020 season.”
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