Nearly three months after the NBA suspended its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears the league is one action more detailed to returning to play. It’s no longer a matter of if or when the NBA will be back. The response to the former is a guaranteed yes; to the latter, a reported time frame of July 31. Now all that is left– beyond the very essential logistical accomplishment of keeping everybody safe inside the “campus-like environment” at Disney World in Orlando– is finding out the how.

Following a board of governors meeting Friday, the league is supposedly set to vote Thursday and decide what the format for a go back to play will appear like and how many groups it will consist of. As the security of players and staff members is weighed along with the league’s other issues (specifically, revenue and competition format), various proposals have actually been reported, consisting of a World Cup-style format, the removal of conferences, and various variations of a postseason play-in competition.

But according to ESPN’s most current report on the conversations, the strategy that is gathering one of the most steam is a 22-team scenario concocted by commissioner Adam Silver and the league office. Regardless of numerous various parties being included with numerous different agendas, the report indicates that Silver has the backing of the owners no matter what circumstance he recommends. In the 22-game situation, all 16 current playoff groups would travel to Orlando, plus all teams within six video games of a playoff area. That implies New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento, Phoenix, and Washington would all take part in what’s expected to be a handful of regular-season games and some type of play-in circumstance that gives Damian Lillard what he desired: a chance at making the playoffs.

Other situations are still apparently in play, including a 20-team method where just 4 West teams (Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio and New Orleans) would return along with the current playoff groups. The plan to revive all 30 teams, as Mavs owner Mark Cuban suggested, appears to be all but removed from consideration.

The players and the NBPA have been determined about not wishing to leap straight into the playoffs and staging not simply regular-season games in advance, however enough training camp time to physically get up to speed and prevent injuries. Till team facilities opened up in mid-May, the majority of players were within houses or houses without gym devices, or when it comes to Giannis Antetokounmpo, without access to a basketball hoop. Some players, like Andre Drummond, resorted to lifting daily items around their home. Others were able to run outside, but some, consisting of John Collins, were limited to doing body-weight or band resistance exercises that teams kept an eye on. Some groups eventually sent their players equipment to help them remain in shape. The NBA has yet to permit group workouts between colleagues, even at the group centers.

As June 1 approaches, the timeline for a return is becoming increasingly precarious. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts just recently required the league to provide the players concrete details about a possible return. Time is brief for several factors. If the 22-team situation gets authorized by a three-fourths majority of the owners on Thursday and the July 31 date to resume is strengthened, the NBA will likely be wishing to suit a handful of regular-season games, a play-in, and a complete postseason to determine a title winner prior to the NFL presumably kicks off its season on September 10. That’s a 41-day window. In a typical year, the playoffs typically stretch over two months.

Beyond the complicated task of getting 30 owners to agree on one plan, there are the even more major health scenarios towering above the league’s return. On Thursday, there were more than 22,000 new cases and over 1,200 brand-new deaths due to the virus in the U.S. While soccer leagues all over the world have returned to play as cases have actually decreased in Europe, basketball’s return stays a larger question, specifically offered it’s played inside. Just this previous week, the EuroLeague canceled its season.