The NBA Board of Governors has voted for and approved the NBA’s return proposal for the 2019-20 season, with an overwhelming 29-1 pass rate, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Portland was reportedly the team that voted against the return, likely because Damian Lillard has expressed that he does not plan on participating if the playoffs are out of the question (which they aren’t, but his team still voted no for a reason).
The season will resume in a controlled environment in Orlando, Florida with the players housed at Walt Disney World Resorts. Exact dates have yet to be announced, but the league has reportedly decided on August 25 for the NBA Draft Lottery, and October 15 for the draft itself.
NBA has set an August 25 Draft Lottery and October 15 Draft, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 4, 2020
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the new structure will include the 16 teams that would have been in the playoffs when the season was suspended in March plus the six additional teams that were within six spots of the 8th seed when the season was suspended: the Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers.
Each team will reportedly play the next eight regular season games on their previously existing schedule among 22 teams who will resume the season, the per Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.
The plan is for teams to continue their schedule as planned, with the next 8 games. If team is scheduled to play Hawks/Bulls/Pistons, it moves onto the next game on schedule, league sources tell Yahoo Sports— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) June 3, 2020
Based on their 2019-20 schedule, that would mean the Spurs’ eight games will be against the Nuggets, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Jazz, Jazz, Nuggets, Kings, and Pelicans again. That’s all against West teams, and five against teams currently playoff-bound teams. (In case anyone needs reminding that the Spurs had a brutal schedule left, this is it.)
Finally, there will also be with a possible play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed in both conferences if the ninth seed is four or fewer games behind the eight seed. If that is the case those two teams will enter a double-elimination play-in tournament for the eighth seed and single elimination for the ninth. (In other words, if the ninth seed wins Game 1, there will be a Game 2; if the eighth seed wins Game 1 they’re in the playoffs.)
Although the Spurs are currently 5 games behind the 8th seeded Grizzlies and sitting in the 12th seed, they are only 3 games back in the loss column, tied with the Pelicans and Kings, and only one game back from the Trail Blazers (who or may not be at full strength).
The NBA still needs the Player’s Association’s approval to begin the season. Stick around PtR, and we will continue to keep you updated as more information comes out.