Report: NBA owners expected to approve 22-team return, potential play-in
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It's becoming clear what the rest of the season could look like when the NBA attempts to return this summer after a pause of nearly five months.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is planning to propose a 22-team return-to-play format to the league's board of governors Thursday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Owners are expected to approve the proposal during the call, which is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET.

Each of the 22 teams - the 16 current playoff teams plus the six teams currently within six games of the 8-seed in their respective conferences - will play eight regular-season games at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando to help determine playoff seeding, sources told Wojnarowski.

The current plan is for teams to play games in two separate arenas within the Walt Disney World Resort, with multiple contests taking place in a day, a source told Yahoo Sports' Keith Smith. During the earlier rounds of the playoffs, two-to-four games would be played per day. That would decrease to one or two games per day in later rounds, Smith adds.

Thirteen of the 22 teams set to compete are from the Western Conference. 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.

All players and coaches staying in Orlando will reportedly be permitted to go golfing and eat at outdoor restaurants, but they must practice social distancing while doing so, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

Further details of a potential play-in tournament following the regular season also came to light Wednesday.

If a conference's No. 9 seed trails the No. 8 seed by more than four games at the conclusion of the regular season, the latter will automatically clinch a playoff spot, sources told Wojnarowski.

But if the gap between the eighth and ninth seed is under four games, those teams would reportedly meet in a double-elimination, play-in tournament to determine the 8-seed.

A 9-seed would need to win two straight play-in games against the 8-seed in order to make the playoffs under this format, whereas the 8-seed would only have to win one game to clinch a postseason berth.

The NBA is targeting July 31 for a return to play, while the season could extend until October 12 in the event the 2020 Finals reach a winner-take-all Game 7, Wojnarowski adds. Teams will have full training camps throughout July before play resumes.

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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Report: NBA owners expected to approve 22-team return, potential play-in
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