DALLAS - The NBA took another important step toward returning to action on Friday afternoon, with Commissioner Adam Silver setting a target start date of July 31st for the league to resume play.
The league has already selected their desired location for the return at Disney World in Orlando, though that location has yet to be finalized, and is now in the process of deciding how many teams will be involved in the season upon its return.
Per a report from The Athletic's Shams Charania, the league discussed four separate scenarios in its meeting with the NBA's Board of Governors as well on Friday, including a scenario in which all 30 teams return, with a 72-game regular season and a play-in tournament is implemented.
According to Charania, a full 30-team return seems to be the most unlikely of those scenarios.
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Other scenarios included the top-8 teams from each conference heading straight to the playoffs, 20 teams playing into the playoffs with a sort of group/stage play, and a 22-team format in which there would be regular-season games to determine the final seeding for a play-in tournament.
Per a report from The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, those 22 teams would play eight regular-season games, and the play-in tournament would aim to decide the eighth seed in each conference.
The Dallas Mavericks, who currently hold the 7th spot over the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference by seven games, would benefit tremendously from O'Connor's scenario, with the battle for the eighth seed likely coming down to a battle between the Grizzlies, the New Orleans Pelicans, and The Portland Trailblazers, and the Sacramento Kings.
Portland, New Orleans, and Sacramento all currently sit 3.5 games behind Memphis for the final playoff spot.