NBA Rumors: League Surveyed GMs On Different Return To Play Formats

It’s starting to look like the NBA season will resume at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., as the league on Saturday confirmed.
What the format will look like when basketball does return, however, is still being deliberated on. Will they go straight to the playoffs? How many teams will be included in the tournament if so? And what potential modifications to the current playoff structure will be made?
Apparently, the NBA surveyed its general managers Friday night to get their input on the various return-to-play scenarios, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Here are the formats and options the league presented:
— Advance straight to NBA Playoffs: This option would take 16 teams, based on the standings as they were March 12, and throw them into a four-round, best-of-seven playoff series structure.
— The “Playoffs Plus” scenario: The number of teams would be expanded either via a play-in tournament for teams on the bubble of qualifying to decide official seeding, or by replacing the first round of the postseason with a group stage, similar to the World Cup where each team plays two games against each group opponent, with the top two advance to a second round.
With this option, the league also polled general managers about how many teams should be included, 18, 20, 22 or 24?
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— Resume regular season: All 30 teams play the same number of games.
— Resume regular season with a play-in tournament: A traditional playoffs would follow all 30 teams playing the same number of games with a play-in tournament determining official seeds.
— The “Playoffs Plus” play-in scenario: A play-in tournament determines the seven and eight seeds, or a group stage to replace the first round.
— Number of scrimmage games prior to league return: two, three, four or five
— Total regular season games: 72 or 76
— Playoff format: Traditional (East/West conferences) or reseed all teams
— Latest possible end dates: Labor Day, Sept. 15, Oct. 1, Oct. 15 or Nov. 1
The NBA will convene again with its Board of Governors call on Friday, May 29 to discuss everything further.
At this time, it seems like the league expects for teams to get back together for a two-week training camp in their market before a two-week quarantined training camp at the venue the NBA selects as its centralized location.
Some teams, like the Boston Celtics and others in areas hit harder than most by the virus, have asked to bypass their team’s cities all together and recall players directly to the return-to-play campus.
Per Charania, more clarification and updates are anticipated next week.
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