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NBA Players Association approves 22-team format to resume season

The NBA and the players' union will work through additional details next week, but the two sides are moving forward with a plan to resume the 2019-20 season at the end of July. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The NBA and the players' union will work through additional details next week, but the two sides are moving forward with a plan to resume the 2019-20 season at the end of July. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 5 (UPI) -- NBA Players Association representatives approved the league's 22-team format to finish the 2019-20 season, the NBPA announced Friday.

The NBA and the players' union will work through additional details on the season's resumption next week, but the two sides are moving forward with the plan.

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"The Board of Player Representatives of the National Basketball Players Association has approved further negotiations with the NBA on a 22-team return to play scenario to restart the 2019-20 NBA season," the NBPA said in a statement.

"Various details remain to be negotiated and the acceptance of the scenario would still require that all parties reach agreement on all issues relevant to resuming play."

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The NBA's board of governors voted Thursday to approve the 22-team format, sending the vote to the NBPA for approval. Teams approved the proposal by a 29-1 margin, with the Portland Trail Blazers voting against the plan.

Under the proposal, 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams will play eight regular-season "seeding" games, a potential play-in tournament for the eighth seeds in each conference and the postseason at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

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The top 16 teams in the West and the East will be joined by teams currently within six games of the eighth seed in the two conferences -- the New Orleans Pelicans, Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards.

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The play-in tournament will include the No. 8 and No. 9 teams in the standings, if the ninth seed ends the regular season within four games of the eighth spot. If a play-in series occurs, it would essentially be a best-of-two matchup, where the No. 9 seed would have to win twice to earn the final playoff berth, while the No. 8 seed would need to win once.

Teams will start training in Orlando beginning July 9-11. Under the plan, the season would resume at the end of July and the NBA Finals would take place in October.

The NBA also offered dates beyond the start and end of this season, with the draft lottery scheduled for Aug. 25, the NBA Draft on Oct. 15 and the 2020-21 season likely starting Dec. 1.

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The league will have daily testing for the coronavirus at the Disney campus. If a player tests positive for the virus, the league would remove that individual from the team to quarantine and continue to play.

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The NBA suspended its season in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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