Silver expected to propose Oct. 12 as final possible date for Finals

Sam Amico

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is expected to have a proposal prepared for team owners Thursday that will include a date for the last possible date of a Game 7 of the Finals, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

That date? Oct. 12.

Shortly after, the draft would be held and free agency would begin. The draft is generally held five-to-six days after the last possible date for the Finals, with the start of free agency four or five days after the draft.

Team owners will vote on Silver's plan, according to Wojnarowski.

The NBA reportedly is targeting July 31 as a return date, with Walt Disney World in Orlando said to be the heavy favorite to serve as a centralized "bubble" location. The league has already announced it is in exploratory talks with Disney.

Silver has been in constant communication with team owners, general managers and players' union representatives. Per Wojnarowski, the league is "advancing" on a plan that will at least include the playoffs, and perhaps a play-in tournament and even some regular-season games.

"The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are still discussing details on a format, and there is still room for the league to maneuver on the structure of a return-to-play ideas," Wojnarowski wrote. "The Board of Governors requires a three-fourths passage of the 30 teams on a plan, but there's an expectation among owners that they'll fall into line and overwhelmingly approve the commissioner's recommendation on a plan, sources said."

One NBA playoff scenario involves teams battling for the eight playoff position in each conference via a play-in tournament, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

In this scenario, 22 of the league's 30 teams would be invited to a centralized location (with Orlando considered the heavy favorite), and "the six extra teams would compete with the two No. 8 seeds from each conference in an eight-team single-elimination tournament," Berman reported.

The top two finishers in the single-elimination tourney would advance to the playoffs as the No. 8 seeds in the Western and Eastern conferences.

According to Berman, "The six extra teams would be invited on the basis of being within six games of the eighth seed on March 11 (when the NBA went on hiatus)."

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

Meanwhile, teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and others would not be invited.

And with next season not likely to start until late December, all of those teams would receive an extended break, never before seen in pro basketball.

"We're not in the playoff picture, so even if the league does announce it's coming back, we still don't know if we're going to be included, which is tough" Cavs guard Matthew Dellavedova recently said in an Instagram interview.