Washington Wizards: Everything you need to know about the NBA’s return

It’s happening! The Washington Wizards are back!!

For a while there, it looked like the 2019-20 NBA season was going to end unceremoniously, without any real winner crowned. But that’s no longer the case. The Washington Wizards still have a chance to bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy (lol).

Thanks mainly to Disney World, who has agreed to host the season’s final stretch, the NBA is alive again.

The NBA Board of Governors voted in favor of a 22-team restart by a vote of 29-1. Here’s what you need to know about the restart and what it means for the Washington Wizards.

Everything you need to know about the NBA’s return to action

The Timeline

Although the vote passed today, it’s not like games will start tomorrow. Here’s the current schedule of events.

  • June 30: Training camp will officially begin
  • July 7: Teams move to Orlando
  • July 31: Commence the remainder of the 2019-20 season
  • August 25: Draft Lottery
  • October 15: 2020 NBA Draft
  • October 18: Free agency begins
  • November 10: 2020-21 training camp begins (subject to change)
  • December 1: 2020-21 season begins (subject to change)

So we still have to wait over a month before we’ll start seeing real NBA action. But we’re getting closer to live basketball again. Once things do start back up, here’s how it’ll all go down.

The Games

The 22 teams in Orlando will play eight games to “finish” the season and determine playoff seeding. The schedule has not yet been determined, but competition will be fierce as all the easy wins won’t be there.

Once the eight games have concluded, teams within four games of their conference’s final playoff spot will have a chance to punch their playoff ticket with a play-in game. In these play-in games, the lower seed would have to beat the higher seed in two consecutive games. The higher seed would only need to win once. If a team is more than four games out of the eighth seed, they will not be eligible for a play-in opportunity.

What does that mean for the Wizards? They’re the only Eastern Conference team that was invited to Orlando and out of the playoff picture, so they won’t need to worry about anyone catching them. But they will need to catch either the Orlando Magic or the Brooklyn Nets.

The Wizards are currently 5.5 games behind Orlando and 6.0 games behind Brooklyn. They own the tiebreaker vs Brooklyn, should it come to that. They do not own the tiebreaker vs Orlando.

If they don’t make the playoffs, the Wizards will once again be lottery eligible. However, games played in Orlando will not count towards lottery odds. As a result, they’ll have ninth-best lottery odds if they miss the playoffs.

What’s Next?

The plan still has to be approved by the National Basketball Player’s Association. Team player representatives are scheduled to vote on the plan during a call on Friday, June 5. Given how easily the plan passed the Board of Governors, it’s highly likely the plan will pass the NBPA without issue.

Next: Wizards will not shut up and dribble

Although the Wizards won’t start playing real games for another several weeks, don’t expect to see John Wall out there when they take the floor. The Wizards are sticking to sidelining him even if he is 110 percent healthy. Or at least that’s what they’ve said. Not the most surprising decision, but not the most competitive one, either.

Be happy, people. Washington Wizards basketball is back!

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