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Report: The NBA is eyeing a July 31 return with a 20-22 team format

A final vote is coming next Thursday.

Houston Rockets v Toronto Raptors Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

The NBA Board of Governors had a conference call with Commissioner Adam Silver today, and a plan on resuming the 2019-20 season is coming into shape. There will be a vote next Thursday, but after discussing multiple scenarios, the favorite plan appears to be resuming the season on July 31 in a closed environment in Orlando featuring the top 20 or 22 teams in the league with a play-in tournament ahead of the playoffs, according to multiple NBA sources.

The six teams that reside within six games of the 16-team playoff field are the Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers, who would fill out the field of 22 teams along with the current top 16 teams. If they go with the 20-team field, Phoenix and Washington would be out. That being said, it’s looking like teams that are far enough out of the playoff hunt are done for the season to avoid any “meaningless” games.

If the timeline of beginning by July 31 comes to fruition, the assumption is 2020-21 season would begin no earlier than December.