NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the league office informed the Board of Governors that it is eyeing July 31 as the season's target return date, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
During a meeting with the Board of Governors, the league discussed four competition scenarios for restarting the season. Those include 16 teams going directly to the playoffs, 20 teams participating in group/stage play or 22 teams competing to determine playoff seeding with a play-in tournament for the eighth seed in each conference. They also talked about holding a 72-game regular season with all 30 teams and a play-in tournament, per Charania.
ESPN's Ramona Shelbourne added that among the four plans discussed one included inviting teams that are within six games of a playoff spot to compete in regular-season games and then a play-in tournament for the final postseason spots.
Earlier this week, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Friday's Board of Governors meeting was not expected to conclude with a decision on a finalized return-to-play plan.
The NBA season remains suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and talks remain ongoing with the NBPA. NBA spokesperson Mike Bass recently said the league has begun "exploratory conversations" with the Walt Disney Corporation about holding games at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
The NHL became the first major sports league to announce a return-to-play plan on Tuesday. The league's plans include holding 24-team playoff in two hub cities with games to begin when safe this summer, and the draft lottery will take place on June 26.