On Thursday, the NBA Board of Governors is expected to vote on a formal plan for the NBA to resume the 2019-20 season.
While everything is subject to change, it’s becoming increasingly likely that Commissioner Adam Silver will present the NBPA and board a plan to include 20-22 teams for a play-in tournament format. The idea of a restart with all 30 teams has been on the table for weeks, but as we’ve discussed, this has always felt a bit counterproductive.
Not only are there at least 10 teams firmly out of the playoff picture at this point, but it’s not hard to understand that the fewer teams in the Walt Disney World bubble the better.
With that said, this decision still isn’t easy. As ESPN reported on Monday, the small-market teams are making sure the NBA understands the potential impact a canceled regular season could have on their respective franchises, vis à vis the playoff teams who will return. While the league itself will benefit a lot from the format, a nine-month hiatus for teams in smaller cities could prove to be incredibly costly. As Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett said during the Board of Governors call last Friday (btw, OKC is in the playoffs so props to him for looking out), zero games from March to December could impact things like “developing players, cultivating sponsorships and selling tickets in markets where franchises struggle to gain a hold.”
To help combat these problems, summer training camps and possible exhibition games are under consideration for all teams not involved in the Orlando bubble (so this would include the Bulls). At the end of the day, this feels necessary, especially for teams like Timberwolves, Pistons, and Hornets who are all among the 5th-lowest valued franchises in the NBA.
Given how flexible most of these organizations seem to be toward Silver’s plan that could very well exclude them, it’s in the league’s best interest to find some way for these organizations to lose less money. Whether this comes in some kind of revenue sharing system between the league and its individual teams or rather an offseason tournament that can give these small-market teams a bigger spotlight, I don’t know. However, being the people-pleaser Silver tends to be, I’d expect some kind of decision to be made that benefits any non-bubble teams.
And as much as I haven’t enjoyed watching the Bulls lately, I can’t go nine months without some action, so an offseason fall tournament of sorts sounds great to me. I’m not sure what kind of incentive there would be, but I feel like players might be itching to see some real gameplay by that point, anyway. Also, for the Bulls specifically, this could be a great way for the new front office to further evaluate its talent and better prepare the team for the 2019-20 season, especially if a new head coach is on board. Any extra competitive environment that can help this team build some on-court chemistry should be warmly welcome by executives and players alike.
Anyway, to learn more about the complications that could come with the NBA’s decision, check out the full post:
ESPN story with @ZachLowe_NBA inside the Board of Governors meeting on Friday, possible offseason camps for those teams left out of Orlando and structure still needing to be resolved with a 22-team format. https://t.co/lnReK6IsVd
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 1, 2020