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The NBA has been on indefinite suspension since March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Training facilities are slated to reopen under strict guidelines on May 11, but there is still no timetable on the league resuming.
Several sources are reporting that agents and team executives want the 2019-20 NBA season to be canceled. However, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James recently countered those rumblings in a tweet that said, “Saw some reports about execs and agents wanting to cancel season??? That’s absolutely not true. Nobody I know saying anything like that. As soon as it’s safe we would like to finish our season. I’m ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything.”
A few weeks ago there was speculation that NBA games could be played in Atlantic City, but that talk has died down. Walt Disney World in Florida, with its 30,000 rooms, now looms as the frontrunner should the NBA decide to relaunch at a single destination. No matter when the season resumes, it will likely be without fans and with rigorous testing measures in place.
The move towards an isolated hub could spell trouble for the Philadelphia 76ers, who are a popular team to bet on at New Jersey sportsbooks. They are in the thick of the playoff race due to their imperious record at the Wells Fargo Center, while on the road they are only 10-24.
When the league suspended play the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, and Boston Celtics had already qualified for the Eastern Conference playoffs. The LA Lakers are the only team that have qualified for the postseason in the Western Conference.
Finishing the regular reason is but one of several issues facing the NBA right now. This year’s draft combine and lottery have been put on hold, so there is a very real possibility that the 2020 NBA Draft may be postponed beyond June 25. There is also mounting pressure to push back the start of the 2020-21 NBA season.
While the situation is still murky, there are NBA betting options available at New Jersey sportsbooks. For example, BetMGM New Jersey has futures odds on the 2019-20 NBA champion:
• Milwaukee Bucks +240
• LA Lakers +250
• LA Clippers +325
• Houston Rockets +1200
• Boston Celtics +2000
• Denver Nuggets +2000
• Miami Heat +2000
• Philadelphia 76ers +2000
• Toronto Raptors +2000
• Utah Jazz +2500