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RETURN DATE IN SIGHT: It may not be as soon as many were hoping, but it seems the NBA finally has a return date in mind, just over two months from now on July 31.
Other details remain sparse, including how many teams are going to be invited back, how exactly the playoffs are going to be formatted and whether the league will host a play-in tournament for the postseason, but for now, at least we know when the NBA is hoping to return.
Answers to those questions could come as soon as Thursday, as Woj reports the league’s Board of Governors will vote then on a format to come back, as well as on an official return date. Unlike the MLB, who apparently is going to let greed from the team’s owners cost them a chance at a season, NBA owners seem to be united on most issues and appear to fully support commissioner Adam Silver’s decision-making through all of this.
STAR SPEAKS: Bradley Beal is honored that players of the magnitude of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving would reportedly like to play with him, but regardless, he’s happy in Washington and wants to make things work there.
The fact that Beal excels as a high-usage No. 1 option, as our own Bryan Kalbrosky writes, might have something to do with that, too.
RETOOLING EFFORT: The Knicks want to acquire shooting to place around rookie RJ Barrett, and three players they reportedly could look at are Danilo Gallinari, Christian Wood and… Carmelo Anthony. Wouldn’t that return be something?
MAJOR TARGETS: Though the frontrunner for the Knicks coaching gig is Tom Thibodeau, the team also has an interest in recently fired Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. Some good options there.
WRESTLE WITH ENES: Celtics big man Enes Kanter is a noted wrestling fan, but apparently he wants to be more than that, as Kanter says he plans to be a WWE superstar within the next five years. What should Kanter’s wrestling name be?
STAYING PUT? There’s been talk of a potential Chris Paul trade in the past, but a well-connected ESPN writer believes odds are he’ll remain with the Thunder next season.
Paul is making a boatload of money anyway, making him tough to move; the Point God is the third-highest paid player in basketball this season and projects to be that next year as well.
NOW HEALTHY: It’s been a rough stretch health-wise for John Wall over the past year-plus, but the All-Star point guard says he’s now “110 percent healthy”. Here’s hoping that’s the case.
DIFFICULT PATH: According to our research, the 1994-95 Rockets, led by the legendary Hakeem Olajuwon, had the toughest road to a championship ever, winning four series without home-court advantage and downing two teams with 60-plus regular-season wins, and a third with 59. Impressive.
BEAT THE BEST: This week, we also researched 25 NBA superstars to determine the combined winning percentages of the opponents they defeated in the playoffs, in order to see who excelled against the best. Dirk and Kobe fared quite well in the exercise.
CELTICS GREATS: The team that was most well-represented on ESPN’s recent Top 74 players in league history series were the Boston Celtics, with an astonishing 17 players included. For the full list of how many players each team had ranked in the series, click here.
OVERSEAS DRAFT WATCH: We have ranked the Top 20 international prospects for the 2020 draft, headlined by Killian Hayes and Deni Avdija.
CAVS PREVIEW: An in-depth preview of the Cleveland Cavaliers 2020 offseason, who will have a load of interesting decisions to make.
CLOSED DOOR? Could coronavirus affect the influx of overseas talent the NBA has seen in recent history? Alex Kennedy spoke to various international agents to find out.