There continues to be movement towards the return of NBA basketball at some point this summer, though the actual dates remain unclear.
One thing that is for certain is that the schedule for the offseason as well as the 2021 season will be altered dramatically. The NBA Draft and free agency have gotten plenty of discussion, but one thing that hasn’t is the Summer League, particularly the Las Vegas version.
Last year was the first time that every team participated in Las Vegas and it has become a major gathering ground for NBA players and personnel every summer. A key word in that is summer however, and whenever Summer League does happen in 2020, it definitely won’t take place in the middle of the year and that could create a big problem.
UNLV hosts the Las Vegas Summer League and with it being summer that isn’t a problem. But with this years “Summer League” likely taking place in the fall UNLV may not be available and because of that, Walt Disney World in Orlando has offered their services, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports:
Something new tonight w/ the ever-evolving NBA schedule for the coming years:
Since Summer League may need to become Fall League for a year, Walt Disney World has offered to host it at the ESPN Wide of World Sports complex, assuming UNLV is out of the mix with school in session.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) May 21, 2020
Considering Disney World is the favorite to host the NBA for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, continuing on to this offseason’s “Summer League” makes a ton of sense. Until 2017, Orlando had its own Summer League so the city is no stranger to hosting an event like this.
There is still so much uncertainty surrounding the remainder of this season, the offseason and next season, that everything remains fluid, but the NBA seems to have different options available and will undoubtedly explore all of them.
Walt Disney World offers a lot of the same things UNLV and city of Las Vegas do, but as Smith noted, with school in session, the campus may not be able to host Summer League as usual.
This is something that isn’t the most immediate thing the NBA needs to think about, and finishing out this season is obviously the priority. But now is the time to start planning for those things in the future and the Orlando Summer League could very well be making a one year return, except it will be in the Fall.