Report: NBA Proposes Play-in Tournament for No. 8 Seed in Each Conference
The NBA will propose a 22-team return-to-play plan on a call with the league's Board of Governors on Thursday, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
The return-to-play plan will feature the 16 teams currently slated to make the 2020 playoffs as well as the six teams that are within six games of the No. 8 seed in their respective conference, per Charania. The NBA will reportedly hold eight regular-season games before the potential play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed.
There is no guarantee of a play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed. If the top seven seeds in each conference will be guaranteed admission to the playoffs, as will the No. 8 seed if the team is more than four games ahead of the No. 9 seed in its conference. If the No. 9 seed is within four games of the No. 8 spot, a play-in tournament will be held between the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds.
The No. 8 seed will have to be defeated twice by the No. 9 seed in order to give up its playoff spot, per Charania. The No. 9 seed will be eliminated with a single loss to the No. 8 seed.
The NBA's plan is expected to be ratified on Thursday, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Wizards are the lone non-playoff team in the Eastern Conference who will receive an invitation to Orlando for the season's resumption. The Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs and Suns are all expected to compete from the Western Conference.
The NBA expects to resume the 2019-20 season on July 31. Game 7 of the Finals will be held no later than Oct. 12.