The NBA doesn’t yet have a plan for what its return-to-play format will look like, but the idea to bring all 30 teams in the league back is losing momentum.
The league surveyed its general managers to get a consensus of what each team is thinking, and commissioner Adam Silver reportedly has been entertaining the idea that less teams involved not only would make a centralized return safer, but also would lead to better basketball.
But what about the teams in the playoff bubble? In the Western Conference in particular, the Memphis Grizzlies sit in eighth place with the most difficult remaining schedule, and teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings all are just a few games back of that coveted playoff cutoff.
And according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA is considering a play-in tournament it for teams in the hunt on the Western side of the bracket alone.
“There are still a number of ideas under discussion, including this one: bringing back the four Western Conference teams on the playoff bubble for play-in purposes, but none in the Eastern Conference, sources said,” Wojnarowski on Tuesday reported.
Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard already has said he’d sit out if his team had to come back for meaningless regular season games without a real shot at a postseason run, but a play-in tournament for those teams on the cusp would be a perfect solution.
And while that may be necessary in the West, the East’s standings are a little more cut-and-dry.
Hopefully we’ll know more after the league’s call with GMs Thursday or with its Board of Governors on Friday.