The NBA Board of Governors will hold a vote on Thursday, with team owners expected to approve commissioner Adam Silver’s recommended format of re-starting the 2019-20 season in Orlando, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The league has set July 31 as a target date for the return of the season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
That plan will reportedly entail the season resuming entirely in Orlando, involving 20 to 22 teams that will receive invitations from the league. Teams would presumably be determined based on the current standings.
In a league-wide survey of each general manager, 75% of responses favored a play-in tournament to determine the final playoff seeds. The other quarter of respondents voted for a World Cup style group stage. The survey showed that the NBA’s top-tier teams—like the Lakers and Bucks—generally favor a play-in tournament over a group stage. In the group stage format, the teams with the 20 best records in the league could be placed into four groups of five, with each group playing pool-play style.
The general manager survey results also revealed that half of the respondents voted for the league to begin the playoffs immediately, though that sentiment is not shared by the players, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
In a Friday conference call between Silver and the Board of Governors, Shelburne reports that four plans were discussed on which format the league will use when it resumes play. One of those plans involved inviting teams that are within six games of a playoff spot to compete in regular season games, followed by a play-in tournament for the final playoff spots.
Using the current standings and keeping conference alignment intact, there are six teams outside the playoff picture but within six games of the last playoff spot: the Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.