Blazers news: Portland the lone team to vote against 22-team format
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Blazers are the lone team to vote against 22-team return-to-play format

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As the league voted nearly unanimously to return to play on July 31, the Portland Trail Blazers were the lone team to vote no, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The Blazers had several reasons for voting no, including a desire to feature a 20-team format instead and rules involving the NBA Draft Lottery:

The Board of Governors passed a 22-team truncated return-to-play initiative by a vote of 29-1, needing only three-quarters of the vote to pass the motion.

Blazers point guard Damian Lillard said he wouldn’t be interested in a return if his team didn’t have a chance to compete for a playoff seed. However, this proposal gives the Blazers eight games to play their way into the playoffs, standing only 3.5 games away from the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies.

If Lillard and the Blazers can hold off the New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and San Antonio Spurs, they could even get the chance for a showdown against the Grizzlies in the new play-in tournament to decide the final spot in the West.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted before the BOG call took place that some teams had their reservations about moving forward with this 22-team format, but most planned to cast “yes” to move things along.

The Blazers’ opposition holds little weight at this point, now that the vote has passed with an overwhelming 96.7% approval.

The last check rests on the players’ union, who will have to sign off on this plan before the NBA can make its return official.