Almost three months after suspending the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA Board of Governors has agreed to resume the season on July 31 in Orlando with just 22 of its 30 teams.
The Charlotte Hornets, who sat 1.5 games behind the 22nd best team with a 23-42 record, unfortunately, won't see their season continue.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to complete the 2019-20 season, but we understand and support the NBA’s plan," the Hornets said in a statement.
The 16 teams that were currently in a playoff spot in each conference and the six next-best teams will head to Orlando to continue the season with eight regular-season games and a play-in tournament for teams to get the eighth seed in each conference if they're within four games of a playoff spot following the regular season.
The Washington Wizards are the only team that sat outside of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference that will continue their season. Thirteen Western Conference teams will continue with only nine from the Eastern Conference.
The season is set to conclude in October.
It's a bittersweet end to the season for the Hornets who nobody expected to have a good year after losing all-star Kemba Walker in free agency last summer.
Charlotte's young core surprised many with their energy and strong defense against many of the league's top teams under head coach James Borrego.
“Led by President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak, we are very confident in our franchise’s direction in our effort to create long-term sustained success," the statement added. "Our team made great strides this season under the leadership of Head Coach James Borrego. We saw significant improvement from many of our young players, as evidenced by having three Hornets participate in the Rising Stars Game at NBA All-Star Weekend. Our roster consists of hard-working, dedicated players that are committed to improving their game. We are excited to see our team’s growth next year after another offseason of development."
Second-year guard Devonte' Graham had a breakout season going from an average of 4.7 points per game in 2018-19 to 18.2 points in the 63 games he played this season.
He was the league's leading candidate for the Most Improved Player.
Second-round rookie Cody Martin and his undrafted twin brother Caleb Martin, made more of an impact than anyone could have guessed, helping the Hornets become one of the league's better defensive teams in the final two months of the season.
Rookie forward PJ Washington had a stellar start to his career, setting an NBA-record for most 3-pointers by a rookie in their debut with six.
Washington hit a mid-season slump but showed plenty of promise.
Second-year forward Miles Bridges continued to electrify crowds with his high-flying dunks but also showed much improvement on the offensive and defensive side of the ball as the season went on.
Guard Terry Rozier was the team's big free-agent acquisition and despite some struggles finding his role early in the season, he finally started to live up to his contract before the season was cut short.
If the 2019-20 season showed anything, it's that the future seems very bright in the Queen City under head coach James Borrego.
The core of Graham, Bridges, Washington, Rozier and both Martins gives general manager Mitch Kupchak a lot to work with to keep building and they'll have a lot of cap space over the next two summers.
Out of the eight lottery teams, Charlotte has the eighth-worst record. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the NBA has set the lottery to Aug. 25 and the NBA Draft to Oct. 15.