The world is still caught between pandemic and pandemonium, but that all isn’t stopping the NBA from moving ahead with its plan to restart and (hopefully) finish the 2019-20 season. The league’s owners and players have agreed on a plan, put forth by Commissioner Adam Silver, that will have the top 22 teams convene at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a stretch run that’s slated to officially tip off in late July and conclude with a legitimate champion in mid-October. How will this resumption work, and how does it suit the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers?
Those questions (and others) get at the heart of this week’s episode of Hollywood Hoops. After a brief recap of the ongoing impact of the marches in memory of George Floyd, Eric Pincus and Josh Martin jump into the NBA’s outline for a return to play. Is it fair that 13 Western Conference teams will be participating, while only nine from the Eastern Conference made the cut? Which crucial details still need to be ironed out between the league’s Board of Governors and the National Basketball Players Association?
Our co-hosts then take a closer look at the overall schedule, from players gathering in their NBA cities over the second half of June through the crowning of a champion before Halloween. Of particular interest: a potential transaction window, which would allow all 30 teams (not just the 22 in Florida) to convert two-way contracts and sign free agents—but, perhaps, only those who have already contracted with the NBA in some way this season. That brings up the seemingly age-old question for Eric to answer once again: can the Lakers re-sign DeMarcus Cousins?
Then, Eric and Josh consider how well the Lakers and Clippers are (or aren’t) equipped to compete amid the parameters laid out by the NBA. How important will each team’s depth be in ramping up after a four-month hiatus? How could the LA squads’ regular-season schedules look, given the removal of the league’s bottom eight clubs from competition?
Finally, our co-hosts look ahead to how the projected completion of the 2019-20 season could impact the 2020-21 campaign, and whether embarking on a condensed schedule on December 1 is feasible or likely.
00:00 – The NBA’s Restart Plan
17:45 – Transaction Window, Boogie’s Return to LA?
30:35 – Lakers, Clippers in the Bubble
45:05 – Looking Ahead to 2020-21