WNBA in early talks for 22-game regular season, sources say


The WNBA is proposing a 22-game regular season, starting July 24, with the league playing at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN.

Details of the playoffs, which would end in October, have not been specified, according to sources. The players have not agreed to the proposal, which has been described as tentative, as some teams are still being informed of the known details, sources said.

Reached for comment on Thursday, the league said it could not confirm the proposal.

The WNBA was set to have a 36-game regular season this year, beginning on May 15, but the league was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. Specifics about housing and testing have not been confirmed.

One source said it’s still too early to say this plan is “set in stone” but confirmed the parameters of what’s being proposed. Part of the proposal might be that with a reduced season, the players would get 60% of their normal salaries, the source said. The source also anticipated that the players might have some counterproposals.

Women’s National Basketball Players Association executive director Terri Jackson said she had been gathering feedback from players all day Thursday and will continue to do so Friday and throughout the weekend.

“No decisions have been made,” Jackson told ESPN.com. “Players are considering all their options.”

IMG Academy’s basketball complex has four state-of-the-art courts, according to the facility’s website. The WNBA has 12 teams with a maximum roster size of 12 players each.

The NBA’s plan is to start July 31 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. That is about 106 miles from IMG Academy.

The WNBA’s playoffs in a normal season are single-elimination games for the first and second rounds, and then five-game series for the semifinals and finals. The Washington Mystics are the league’s defending champions.

The WNBA had its draft on April 17, with Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu as the No. 1 pick by the New York Liberty.



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