NBA's Proposed Return a Mixed Bag For Several Former Hoosiers

A total of 22 teams will resume their NBA seasons in late July according to a proposal approved by the owners on Thursday, and most of the former Hoosiers in the league are ready to get back to work.

It looks like the NBA is ready to get back out on the floor. The NBA's Board of Governors approved a plan Thursday to resume the season in July in Orlando with a 22-team format, the league announced Thursday. 

A condensed end to the regular season will start July 31, with the playoffs starting in August and concluding with the NBA Finals in sometime in October. Players are scheduled to vote on the proposal on Friday.

“The Board’s approval of the restart format is a necessary step toward resuming the NBA season,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said 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. 

"We also recognize that as we prepare to resume play, our society is reeling from recent tragedies of racial violence and injustice, and we will continue to work closely with our teams and players to use our collective resources and influence to address these issues in very real and concrete ways.”

The NBA will be instituting the 22-team format at Orlando's Walt Disney World Resort that includes 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams. Sixteen teams will still make the playoffs — eight from each conference — but everyone who was still within six games of the final playoff spot were invited to Orlando The top 16 teams in the Eastern and Western conference will be joined by the New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns from the West and the Washington Wizards from the East.

Two former Indiana players are on those teams that are on the outside looking in, and they're benefiting from this plan being selected as opposed to one where the NBA would just go straight to a 16-team playoff and 14 teams wouldn't have returned at all.

Yogi Ferrell’s Kings and ,Thomas Bryant’s Wizards will have a shot of working their way into the playoffs. 

Several former Hoosiers are with teams that are poised to make a playoff run. Utah Jazz forward Juwan Morgan has been working out in both Waynesville, Mo., his hometown, and Salt Lake City. Romeo Langford has stayed in Boston to train throughout most of the hiatus. 

Other Hoosiers are currently on a team in the playoffs include OG Anunoby of the Toronto Raptors (No. 3 seed in the East), Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets (sixth-eed in the West), Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers (fifth in the East), and Noah Vonleh of the Denver Nuggets (third in the West). 

The only Hoosier in the league that wouldn’t go to Orlando is Cody Zeller, whose Charlotte Hornets would just miss the cut-off of participating by one game.