Players wanted games to get their legs under them before the playoffs started, and they are getting their wish. NBA teams can play up to three exhibition games at the restart before the July 30 tip-off of the “seeding games”/regular season in Orlando, according to multiple reports.
Those games will take place July 20-29, at the end of a nearly three-week “training camp” in Orlando.
NBA teams have been notified that they will be allowed to play three scrimmages at Walt Disney World between July 9-29 before the scheduled resumption of the season July 30
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 12, 2020
NBA teams were told today that scrimmages – likely three of them – at Disney can begin on July 21 or 22.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 12, 2020
No schedule of exhibition games has been released, and it’s not known if the games will be televised (although it is likely they would be on regional sports networks, at least). The league is still putting together the details of the restart plan, and there has been no schedule yet of the seeding games either.
There are a lot of questions yet to be answered about the NBA’s restart plan, particularly on the health and safety aspects, which has some players still hesitant to sign on to play in the Orlando campus/bubble. The schedule of games is just part of that.
For many of the 22 teams at the NBA’s restart — ones trying to get in a play-in game for the eighth seed, and teams in a tight race for playoff seeding — those eight regular-season games before the playoffs start have real value. Coaches won’t want to limit a players’ minutes or treat those games like an exhibition more about conditioning than the score. Which means the teams needed actual exhibition games.