No official date has been set for the resumption of the 2019-20 season, but the NBA appears increasingly likely to return to play in late July. And resuming the season could bring big changes to the playoffs.
The league is currently exploring a slate of contingencies for resuming the season, including holding games at a single quarantined site. And the NBA is also now considering alterations to its playoff format.
The NBA reportedly sent a survey to the league's 30 general managers on Friday night, asking for their vote on a series of playoff scenarios, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. The league could opt to stick with its traditional set of four seven-game series, though there are a number of intriguing proposals offered by the league.
There could be a "playoffs-plus," format for the 2020 postseason, which would expand the teams in the postseason, "through holding a play-in tournament to determine the final seed(s) in playoffs," per Charania. The NBA could also use a group-stage format for the first round of the 2020 playoffs.
Friday's survey also polled the league's GMs on how to conclude the regular season. The NBA could look to hit either 72 or 76 games before going to the playoffs, and there could be a slate of scrimmage games before an official return to play.
The NBA officially suspended the 2019-20 season on March 11 after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Numerous players have since tested positive, including Nets forward Kevin Durant and Celtics guard Marcus Smart.