During a phone call with NBA general managers, Adam Silver reportedly confirmed that Friday’s Board of Governors meeting would not include a formal vote on a return-to-play plan, but talks about a plan will continue into the weekend, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The meeting is expected to be centred around discussions on the NBA’s plan for how it can resume its season, which has been paused since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any plan the league comes up with would have to be approved by the National Basketball Players Association before it could be enacted.
During Silver’s call, he also reportedly reviewed the results of a survey that was delivered to teams last week regarding potential return-to-play formats, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
Half of the NBA’s general managers voted to cancel the rest of the regular season and go straight to the playoffs, according to O’Connor, and just over half the league voted in favour of reseeding the playoffs one through 16 without factoring in conference affiliation. Additionally, 75 per cent of GMs voted for a play-in tournament for the final playoff seeds, while only 25 per cent voted for a World Cup style group stage event.
Recent reports on the latest plans the NBA is considering are wide-ranging, encompassing alternative playoff formats, potential hub cities, testing protocols and if and when players who are abroad can return to the United States to begin training.
So far, the NHL is the only major professional North American sports league to have publicly released its return-to-play plan — a four-phase strategy that includes an alternative playoff format and draft lottery structure, as well as a rough timeline for how and when teams may begin the process of opening training camps.
Although momentum has been building in recent weeks that the NBA will be able to resume its season sometime in late July or early August, the situation remains fluid and no firm timeline has been established for when — or if — such a return may be possible.