NBA set to begin season in July at Disney World: Here’s what to know

Player opt outs, new free agent signings and the schedule

A sign marking the entrance to ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World is seen Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. The NBA has told the National Basketball Players Association that it will present a 22-team plan for restarting the season at Disney. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The NBA announced that the season was put on hold due to the ongoing pandemic more than 100 days ago but the hold has been lifted and the season will resume in late July at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

The schedule

The 22 teams involved in the return will play eight games. Each team is scheduled to play against teams that it would have faced before the hiatus. Eight squads were not invited to the restart. Teams that had a matchup with one of the eliminated teams on the schedule will instead move on to next in line.

The league plans to condense the postseason as much as possible by moving up start dates for each round based on when the previous one ends. The Finals will also be shortened down to games every other day, which means it will take less than two weeks (pending a Game 7). It would take place no later than October 12 to determine a champion after the conference finals wrap up.

Here what the schedule looks like in conjunction with the NBA’s plan according to Forbes:

  • BOSTON CELTICS: vs. Bucks, Wizards, Raptors, Nets, Wizards, Blazers, Grizzlies, Heat
  • BROOKLYN NETS: vs. Clippers, Kings, Wizards, Celtics, Magic, Clippers, Magic, Blazers
  • DALLAS MAVERICKS: vs. Suns, Clippers, Kings, Blazers, Suns, Rockets, Jazz, Bucks
  • DENVER NUGGETS: vs. Spurs, Lakers, Clippers, Thunder, Raptors, Heat, Spurs, Thunder
  • HOUSTON ROCKETS: vs. Lakers, Blazers, Kings, Bucks, Mavericks, Pacers, 76ers, Raptors
  • INDIANA PACERS: vs. 76ers, Heat, Suns, Magic, Rockets, Kings, Clippers, Lakers
  • LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: vs. Nets, Pelicans, Mavericks, Nuggets, Suns, Nets, Pacers, Thunder
  • LOS ANGELES LAKERS: vs. Rockets, Nuggets, Jazz, Jazz, Raptors, Pacers, Trail Blazers,* Heat or Magic*
  • MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: vs. Blazers, Jazz, Spurs, Thunder, Bucks, Pelicans, Pelicans, Celtics
  • MIAMI HEAT: vs. Bucks, Pacers, Thunder, Nuggets, Suns, Celtics, Raptors, *Lakers or Trail Blazers*
  • MILWAUKEE BUCKS: vs. Celtics, Heat, Grizzlies, Wizards, Rockets, Wizards, Mavericks, Raptors
  • NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: vs. Kings, Jazz, Clippers, Spurs, Grizzlies, Kings, Grizzlies, Magic
  • OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: vs. Jazz, Wizards, Grizzlies, Nuggets, Heat, Nuggets, Suns, Clippers
  • ORLANDO MAGIC: vs. Pacers, Kings, Nets, Nets, Pelicans, 76ers, Raptors, Lakers or Trail Blazers*
  • PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: vs. Pacers, Wizards, Raptors, Blazers, Suns, Rockets, Magic, Spurs
  • PHOENIX SUNS: vs. Mavericks, Pacers, Clippers, Mavericks, 76ers, Wizards, Heat, Thunder
  • PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: vs. Grizzlies, Rockets, Mavericks, 76ers, Celtics, Nets, Lakers,* Heat or Magic*
  • SACRAMENTO KINGS: vs. Pelicans, Nets, Mavericks, Rockets, Magic, Pelicans, Pacers, Spurs
  • SAN ANTONIO SPURS: vs. Nuggets, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Jazz, Jazz, Nuggets, Kings, 76ers
  • TORONTO RAPTORS: vs. 76ers, Celtics, Nuggets, Lakers, Bucks, Rockets, Heat, Magic
  • UTAH JAZZ: vs. Thunder, Pelicans, Grizzlies, Lakers, Lakers, Spurs, Spurs, Mavericks
  • WASHINGTON WIZARDS: vs. Celtics, Thunder, 76ers, Nets, Bucks, Celtics, Suns, Bucks

Player opt outs

With the ongoing pandemic, some players may not feel it is not worth the risk of contracting the virus or that other obligations are more important than the season right now.

Here is the list of player opt outs for the season:

Avery Bradley, Guard, Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers guard told ESPN, that his son has a history of struggling to recover from respiratory illnesses and feels that his family would not be cleared to enter the bubble.

Willie Cauley Stein, Center, Dallas Mavericks

Cauley Stein is expected to become a father in July, according to the Athletic.

Davis Bertan, Forward, Washington Wizards

Bertans is a free agent after this season and decided it was best to sit out and not risk injury, according to ESPN. The Wizards want to re-sign the three-point ace and support his decision.

Trevor Ariza, Forward, Portland Trail Blazers

Ariza opted out of playing so he could spend time with his son, ESPN reported. The mother granted a court-ordered, one-month visitation period to Ariza to see his 12-year-old son during the league’s quarantine of teams in Orlando.

New signings

Here is the list of new signings to replace the players that opted out:

Corey Brewer, Guard/Forward, Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings have signed guard/forward Corey Brewer, according to Kings General Manager Vlade Divac. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 13-year league veteran, NBA Champion (2011) and two-time NCAA Champion (2006 & 2007) returns to Sacramento following his first stint on the team during the 2018-19 season. In February 2019, Brewer signed back-to-back 10-day contracts with the Kings before re-signing through the rest of the season.

Trey Burke, Guard, Dallas Mavericks

Former Michigan point guard Trey Burke has signed with the Dallas Mavericks to fill the roster spot of Willie Cauley-Stein who opted out of this season, according to The Athletic. Burke spent part of the 2019-2020 season with the Philadelphia 76ers and was waived in February. He averaged nine points and two assists in 25 games for the Mavs last season.

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