Report: NBA to Propose 22-Team Restart in Board of Governors Call on Thursday

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 3, 2020

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference before an NBA preseason basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in Saitama, near Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

When NBA Commissioner Adam Silver meets with the Board of Governors on a call Thursday, he will reportedly lay out a 22-team format to resume the 2019-20 season. 

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the new structure is expected to include the 16 teams that would have been in the playoffs when the season was suspended in March and six additional teams, with a play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed in both conferences.

"If the ninth seed is more than four games behind the eighth seed, the eighth seed earns the playoff spot; if the ninth seed is four or fewer games behind, then the eighth and ninth seed will enter a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for ninth," Charania wrote.

Charania noted this proposal was drawn up based on "feedback, collaborative discussions and input" the NBA received from people throughout the league. 

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Thursday's Board of Governors call will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET, and the "intention" is to approve the 22-team restart plan. 

Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported on May 29 after a Board of Governors call that there was "growing support" for a season restart with 22 teams centralized at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. 

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Charania noted that the league discussed four different return scenarios during the call last week, but two of them⁠—one that would skip right to the playoffs with the top eight teams in each conference and another bringing back all 30 teams to finish a 72-game regular season with a play-in tournament⁠—recently lost traction.

According to Wojnarowski, the six teams not currently among the top 16 that will play in Orlando include five Western Conference clubs (New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs) and the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference. 

The Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings and Spurs were all within four games of the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed in the West when play was suspended. The Wizards were 5.5 games behind the Orlando Magic for the final playoff spot in the East.


Bleacher Report's David Gardner interviews athletes and other sports figures for the podcast How to Survive Without Sports.