At long last, there is an end in sight for the NBA's months-long hiatus.
The league, which has been on pause since March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic, has finalized a return-to-play plan after a Thursday vote from its Board of Governors. The plan is to resume games on July 31.
The NBA will bring 22 of its 30 teams to Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, FL, in a central location to prevent the spread of the virus. The games will be played without fans.
Players will be tested consistently and monitored. Testing of the players is expected to begin on June 22.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the safety concerns in a statement.
"While the COVID-19 pandemic presents formidable challenges, we are hopeful of finishing the season in a safe and responsible manner based on strict protocols now being finalized with public health officials and medical experts," he said.
Training camps are expected to begin on June 30 and go to July 7 when teams would travel to Orlando. By the time the NBA returns to playing games, over four months will have passed. Based on the current timeline, the NBA will crown a champion in the fall with Game 7 of the NBA Finals tentatively scheduled for Oct. 12.
The draft lottery will take place on Aug. 25 and the draft on Oct. 15. Free agency is expected to start on Oct. 18.
It is unclear yet when the Wizards will play their first game and against which team. The league will release schedule information at a later date.
The Wizards will pick back up with a 24-40 record. They are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference standings and one spot out of the playoff picture.
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