While the NBA season continues to remain suspended, the organisation is considering all possible situations to resume their season. This includes playing shortened playoffs at a neutral location, probably in July or August. Though the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic remains uncertain, the NBA is reportedly 'very determined to have a champion'.
As per reports, while a single-elimination tournament is not possible, there can be a three-game series during a truncated postseason. The seeding, in case of a postseason, is likely to remain the same as completing the regular NBA 2019-20 season is not a viable option anymore. While it is not a priority, the NBA wants every team to play at least 70 games – a 'key marker' in all local broadcasting deals. An extended NBA suspension will affect not only players and their salaries, but could also cause an estimated loss of $1 billion.
Another idea the NBA is considering is playing all remaining games in one location. Not only will this cut down on travelling time, but also avoid problems generated by travelling during the pandemic. Places like Las Vegas, Hawaii and Bahamas are being considered. This would eradicate any home-court advantage, hopefully speeding up the process.
While there has been no official announcement, reports point at a mid-June return as the best-case scenario. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended at least two months without gatherings of 50 or more people, which could mean NBA games without an audience for an extended period of time. The season could extend till September, and the new NBA season could start in December. Though no schedule can be confirmed, reports hint that this could be the new normal for NBA from the 2021-22 season.
Story includes NBA’s willingness to consider team practice facilities for games with no fans — and perhaps a unique television viewing experience. Everything’s on the table. https://t.co/sUDowk4aac— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 16, 2020
As of now, there are ten NBA players with coronavirus. Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert was the first player to test positive, which caused the NBA to suspend the season on March. Jazz's Donovan Mitchell, Detroit Pistons Christian Wood, Kevin Durant and three other Brooklyn Nets players, two LA Lakers players and Boston Celtics Marcus Smart are others who were infected. Recent statements from teams have confirmed that Gobert, Mitchell and Smart are now cleared of COVID-19.