NBA's Board Of Governors To Approve 22-Team Return-To-Play

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Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that one owner said they believe the 22-team format was the ultimately most compelling and certainly more financially rewarding than just 16 teams. This plan would leave those teams battling it out for eight games (Woj confirmed that number of regular-season games will be played) and the right to take on Memphis for the last playoff spot (and the "reward" of the Lakers in the first round).

The NBA's returning in a big way. league officials are expected to approve a plan for a 22-team July comeback in Orlando, according to multiple reports.

Once the games in Orlando have been completed, the No 8 seed will make the playoffs if they are more than four games ahead of the No 9 seed.

From there, the playoff bracket would proceed like normal with four rounds of best-of-seven series to crown a champion. However, if the No. 9 team wins, they'll play each other one more time in a victor take all game. The six current non-playoff teams traveling to Orlando would be the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, and Washington Wizards.

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The plan includes 22 teams, which gives the league a chance to recoup some of the money it will lose from cutting games in regional TV markets.

During a Board of Governors call last week, Silver and owners discussed a possible "play-in" round of the post-season to finalise the top eight seeds in each conference. The latest the National Basketball Association finals could end will be 12 October, with free agency and the draft set to open after that.

The NBA draft lottery and combine are now expected to be held in August as part of the changes to the league's calendar, sources told The Athletic's Shams Charania.

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