UPDATE: May 29, 5:52 p.m. — The NBA is planning a vote of the Board of Governors for next Thursday, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The NBA is planning a Thursday vote of the Board of Governors -- with an expectation that owners will approve Adam Silver’s recommendation on a format to re-start the season in Orlando, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 29, 2020
The NBA is throwing around the idea of four different scenarios for a return to the 2019-20 season, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Friday afternoon. The NBA is targeting July 31 for a return to play, per Charania.
Commissioner Adam Silver and the Board of Governors met on Friday to discuss possible return plans and here’s what they came up with, per Shams.
— 16 teams: Directly into NBA Playoffs
— 20 teams: Group/stage play
— 22 teams: Games determine seeding, play-in tournament to decide find seeds
— 30 teams: 72-game regular season with a play-in tournament
So the NBA is pretty much trying to cover all its bases with these four proposals — if that’s all that is being discussed. We have the 1-16 seed playoff format, which has been previously reported. That would seed the top 16 teams against each other in an NCAA Bracket Region-style playoff.
It seems best that the NBA balance fairness while rewarding teams who performed well during the regular season. That’s where this Group play makes sense. I’m not 100% sure how this would be set up, but it could be similar to the World Cup, with five groups of four teams each competing against each other in the playoffs.
Expanding even further, the 22-team format would have games to decide seeding, which seems like it would take up a lot of time. You basically have built in seeding right now, why mess around with it? Play-in tournament with fewer teams involved seems like a decent scenario, so I’d lean with the 20-team format instead of the 22-team one.
At this point, bringing back the regular season entirely would have the interest of all teams in mind and is the money move, right? You get more games being played with regular season and playoffs both happening. Obviously, safety is the most important part, so bring back all teams to one location to finish meaningless regular-season games doesn’t seem ideal. Michael Jordan seems to agree with this sentiment.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan advocated on the call for player safety, and not simply having players return for meaningless games, sources said. Given the NBA is prioritizing health and safety first and foremost, 30 team return is unlikely. https://t.co/03pAvpDPi7— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 29, 2020