In expected July return, will NBA resume regular season or skip to the playoffs?

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at May 29 2020 09:55 AM

When the NBA hiatus began on March 11, LeBron James and the Lakers were the No. 1 seed in the West. Nelson Chenault, USA Today Sports/file

Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry said that, following the NBA board of governors call scheduled for Friday, he expects a vote "early next week" before moving toward playoff games being played in Orlando in July.

"I think at the end of the day, we'll be in Orlando at Disney," Lasry said Thursday in an interview on CNBC.

"The question is going to be will we have all 30 teams there, or will we have 24, whatever the number will end up being. But hopefully, by the middle of July, we start playing again."

To be determined is whether the NBA will resume the regular season or skip to the playoffs. A play-in tournament to determine the final spots in each conference could be held, and has support from players including Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. Lillard said he wouldn't play if the Blazers returned for regular-season games but didn't have a shot at the playoffs.

Lasry told CNBC the expectation for Friday's call was to receive a number of options for returning to practice and how to proceed with the remainder of the 2019-20 season. Lasry said a final decision on those options is not likely on Friday.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that commissioner Adam Silver informed NBA general managers on a conference call that no vote would be taken on Friday, adding talks would extend into the weekend.

The NBA hiatus began on March 11, when Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus.

A typical timeline of the NBA season would involve the conference finals before the NBA Finals, which began May 30 last season.

Delaying the start of the playoffs during the hiatus also led the league to postpone the NBA Draft Lottery, NBA Scouting Combine, and NBA Draft.

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