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NBA officially back after players approve 22-team proposal

NBA back

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has approved the proposal from the NBA Board of Governors, green-lighting a 22-team return-to-play initiative that is set to resume the 2019-20 season on July 31, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The owners passed the vote on Thursday by a vote of 29-1, with the Portland Trail Blazers being the lone team to vote against the proposal.

This format will give the best 22 teams a pass to Walt Disney World to resume the season in Orlando. Each team will play eight more regular-season games to determine seeding, while there could be a play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed in each conference if the ninth-place team is within four games.

Playoff series will remain best-of-seven as customary.

The league also gave some tentative key dates to keep in mind.  The NBA Draft Lottery will be moved back to Aug. 25 and the NBA Draft a near eight weeks after the lottery on Oct. 15.

The NBA is also expecting free agency to start three days after the draft on Oct. 18, along with a truncated start of training camp on Nov. 10. This would pave the way for a Dec. 1 start to the 2020-21 season. This would be a rather short offseason for most teams considering this season could end as late as Oct. 12 if the NBA Finals go to a Game 7.

These dates remain fluid, though, and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts already has some questions about this quick turnaround time. While the return-to-play format has been agreed upon, there are still plenty of other details to figure out about the NBA’s return moving forward, including nailing down health and safety guidelines.