League Owners Apparently Hoping For Summer Return

Published on March 23rd, 2020 3:07 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The hope is still alive that the NBA season could continue in a shortened format. Many people assume that there is a very good chance that the current NBA season ends up getting cancelled, though don't tell that to the league's owners.

According to multiple media reports, the league has been drawing up potential plans for a return to action this summer.

This means that the league would try to shoehorn the end of the 2019-20 season into just a couple of months of action.

Following that, the league would have a short break, followed by training camps and the start of the 2020-21 regular season.

What might that look like? How could the NBA fit the end of the regular and playoffs into just a couple of months?

To start, the league would likely need to go-ahead to return by early June at the latest. After all, players would need to get into shape once again, and the league and its teams would have to deal with ticketing issues, scheduling, broadcasting, etc.

So let's say that the league has a 10-day training camp and starts in early July.

There were 15-16 games remaining for each team in the regular season. If the league and its players agreed to a condensed schedule, they could probably get these games finished by the end of July.

Training camps typically begin in the third week of September. Perhaps the league decides to push back the 2020-21 season by a few weeks - let's say that the league restarts in early October, with an eye to start 2020-21 regular season games in the third week of November.

Assuming that players would need at least 2-3 weeks off at the end of the playoffs, this would mean that the league would need to finish the playoffs by mid-September at the latest, which would give them 1 1/2 months to squeeze in the playoffs. Typically the playoffs run for 3 months - starting in the second half of April and concluding in mid-June.


According to some reports, one option for shortening the playoffs would be to reduce the series from best-of-7 to best-of-5.

This would help to condense the playoffs by a couple of weeks.

Playoff games are very gruelling, so don't expect to see back-to-back games in the playoffs, though this is a possibility.

Some have suggested that the playoffs could be condensed even more, though it's hard to see how the league could compress things into less than two months.

If the playoffs take two months to complete and start in early August, this would take things into late September, which would dramatically push back the start of the 2020-21 regular season. The NBA and its players will need to agree to any scheduling, and it's hard to imagine players agreeing to start another season almost immediately after the current one concludes.


If the NBA hasn't started playing games by July 4th, there is virtually no chance that the season will still take place. A July 4th start date means that the league will likely need the go-ahead to return by early June. Time is ticking.

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