NBA to Approve 22 Team Return With 8 Regular Season Games

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

The NBA and its board of governors intend on approving a league proposal of a 22-team format to restart the season in Orlando, Florida, as sources have indicated to ESPN.

The conference call and vote is set to happen at 12:30 p.m. ET Thursday.

Along with the league’s advisory/finance committee, NBA Commissioner¬† Adam Silver has shared the plan details to the teams invited to the Walt Disney World Resort.

The plan calls for 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams, with eight regular-season, a possible play-in tournament for the eighth seed, and playoffs.

The top 16 teams from the West and East will be joined by six other teams that are at least six games out of the eighth spot in both conferences.

Those six teams are the New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, and Washington Wizards.

As for the play-in tournament, the eighth and ninth seed playing it out for the final playoff spot.

Should the No. 9 team finish the regular season four games within the eighth seed, the No. 8 team will enter a double-elimination tournament and the No. 9 team will enter a single-elimination tournament.

All teams will begin training at team sites in July and will then advance to full training camps in Orlando later that month.

As for the eight teams left off the Orlando format list, several have voiced their disappointment and concerns about how a nine month layoff could affect their teams competitively and finically.

For those teams the NBA has engaged in dialogue regarding ways to keep those teams active, including potential mandatory summer camps and regional fall leagues.

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These scenarios will be taken up between the NBA and the players’ union.

The NBA and NBPA are also discussing details of the return to play’s safety protocols and competition.

Players and coaches will be allowed to golf and eat at outdoor restaurants, but will need to be sure to follow social distancing rules, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

The league is also preparing a daily and uniform testing method for the coronavirus while being at the Disney campus.

Should a player test positive for the virus, the league would remove the player from the team to quarantine and treat the player individually while testing others as play continues.

All employees at the resort will abide by similar protocols.

For example, no staff will be allowed into the players’ rooms, and hallways will be carefully monitored and managed to avoid crowding.