Commissioner Adam Silver plans to lay out a 22-team format for resuming the season at the Board of Governors call on June 4.
The 22-team format will bring back the 16 current playoff teams along with six additional teams who are within six games of the final playoff spot in each conference.
Those teams are the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards.
Each of the 22 teams will play eight regular season games in Orlando for seeding purposes for the playoffs, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
A play-in tournament would then be held for the eighth seed and have the following format per Shams Charania:
- If 9th seed is four or more games back, 8th seed earns spot
- If 9th seed is four or fewer games behind, play-in: Single-elimination for 9th seed, double-elimination for 8th
In the Western Conference, the Memphis Grizzlies are 3.5 games ahead of the Trail Blazers, Pelicans and Kings, four games ahead of the Spurs and six games ahead of the Suns.
In the Eastern Conference, the Orlando Magic are 5.5 games ahead of the Wizards.
Teams like the Suns and Wizards will have their work cut out for them to make the playoffs, but they still have a shot.
The 22-team format will allow each of those teams to play at least 70 regular season games, ensuring that most of them meet the requirements for TV contracts, helping out the league financially.
The NBA’s proposal as a whole was based on feedback, collaborative discussions and input from constitutes around the league, according to Charania.
There will also reportedly be many different medical and safety protocols in place.
Those protocols will likely include players showering at their hotels rather than at the arena, inactive players being required to sit in the stands instead of on the bench and players not being permitted to bring family members or guests into the “bubble” until the postseason starts, according to The Athletic.
The 22-team proposal will need approval from at least 75 percent of the league’s Board of Governors, or 23 out of 30 team owners.
The intention is that the Board of Governors call will indeed approve the plan to return-to-play in Orlando.
The rest of the NBA season will run from July 31 to Oct. 12
As Wojnarowski said in a tweet, “The NBA’s back.”