Report: NBA’s 22-team format expected to ‘overwhelmingly’ pass in Thursday meeting
The NBA has already narrowed out a date for its eventual return to play: July 31. Now all that’s left is to figure out a format that would make sense to resume the rest of the 2019-20 season.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday’s edition of “Get Up,” a 22-team format is expected to overwhelmingly pass on Thursday, once the league congregates to decide on what teams should take part in the resumption of the season at Walt Disney World in Orlando:
“There’s a lot of focus right now on a 22-team model of bringing teams back to Orlando in a play-in situation,” said Wojnarowski. “The league is still digging down on details of what that would look like, and they’re gonna spend this week finalizing the structure and the format of a return to play. Thursday will be the day of the vote, and it’s expected to overwhelmingly pass.”
"There's a lot of focus right now on a 22-team model of bringing teams back to Orlando in a play-in situation. … Thursday will be the day of the vote and it's expected to overwhelmingly pass."@wojespn on the NBA's return to play. pic.twitter.com/7JRfLaOf2Q
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) June 1, 2020
The NBA reportedly prefers not to bring all 30 teams to Florida, as the potential for infection would increase, as would the costs for stay and the availability of test kits.
Formats that included a playoff-plus scenario, a play-in tournament, and a World Cup-style group stage featuring the league’s 20 best teams had been floated around in recent weeks. Yet it appears a 22-game format would satisfy most of the players and owners looking to get back some of the major revenue lost during a long hiatus that’s closing in on three months.
Including 22 teams would give teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, and San Antonio Spurs a chance to lock in a playoff seed, plus even teams like the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards. how the NBA decides to make that happen is yet to be explained.
The league will present its format on Thursday to the owners and then to the players, as both sides want to see a resumption to the 2019-20 NBA season.