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 was being discussed.
What the format will look like when basketball does return, however, still is 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 of 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 advancing to a second round.
With this option, the league also polled general managers about how many teams should be included, between 18, 20, 22 or 24.
— Latest possible end dates: Labor Day, Sept. 15, Oct. 1, Oct. 15 or Nov. 1
There were plenty more questions in the survey, which Charania covers in his story.
The NBA will convene again with its Board of Governors on a call 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 home 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 coronavirus, have asked to bypass their team’s cities altogether and recall players directly to the return-to-play campus.
Per Charania, more clarification and updates are anticipated next week.