Following the Board of Governors vote on Thursday, in which team owners agreed 29-1 to move forward the 22-team format for resuming play, the NBPA met on Friday to address the same subject.
While there are still some hurdles to ensuring the Orlando plan goes off without a hitch, both the players and governors agree that this is the best option moving forward. The Players Association, led by Chris Paul, have been in constant communication with commissioner Adam Silver about where the NBA is with regard to a return.
Part of what allowed these negotiations to go so smoothly – unlike other professional sports leagues – is the solid relationship between the players, league executives, and the governors.
On Friday, the NBPA has subsequently approved the 22-team plan that the Board of Governors approved on Thursday, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The National Basketball Players Association held a call with its Board and Player Representatives on Friday afternoon, and approved the NBA’s 22-team format for the resumption of the 2019-20 season, according to sources.
With the NBPA giving their stamp of approval, off 22 teams that are currently in the playoffs or within six games of the playoffs will be heading to Orlando sometime in July. The targeted date for the resumption of the regular season is July 31.
From that point, the 22 teams will play eight regular season games each. This way, all 22 teams will have played at least 70 games, and teams will have a chance to go after the seeding they want.
For the six teams who are currently outside of the playoffs, they’ll have a chance to either jump the current No. 8 seed, or simply get within four games of them. This will trigger the play-in tournament between those two teams.
As it currently stands, four teams in the Western Conference are within four games of the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies. How that ultimately unfolds will of course be of particular interest to the Los Angeles Lakers, who are atop the Western Conference standings.