NBA rumors: GM survey gives Kings another boost in postseason chase

NBA rumors: GM survey gives Kings another boost in postseason chase

So you’re saying there’s a chance.

The Kings got a boost in their mission to snap the franchise’s 13-year postseason drought Friday morning when the results of the general managers' survey were released.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, 83 percent of NBA general managers voted for the “Playoff Plus” option, which would allow 20 or more teams to compete for the playoffs.

20 is the magic number for the Kings. When the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 11, Sacramento was in a virtual three-way tie for ninth place in the Western Conference playoff race with Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans. 

All three teams trailed the Memphis Grizzlies by three and a half games in the standings, with Sacramento and New Orleans still having 18 games remaining on the schedule and Portland with 16. Memphis has 17 games left, and the most difficult remaining schedule in the NBA.

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What would a 20-team playoff picture look like? No one knows for sure just yet, but the prevailing thought is that the Blazers, Kings, Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs, who currently sit four games back of the Grizzlies, would likely go through either a play-in scenario to try to earn a spot in the postseason. Or, it’s possible the league would reseed the field as a whole, and allow the four teams into an expanded playoff format.

There still is a possibility that the NBA chooses to include Eastern Conference teams in the grouping of 20, but when the league shut down, the race for the eighth spot was all but over in the East, with Orlando leading Washington by five and a half games.

[RELATED: NBA rumors: Kings on shortlist for potential playoff play-in tournament]

According to Charania, there is a 53-47 percent split on whether the league should reseed the playoffs this season to take into account potential additional teams.

Only 27 percent of NBA general managers voted to pick back up where the season ended and bring back all 30 teams to finish out the 82 game schedule. GMs would also like expanded rosters for the postseason and an end date no later than Oct. 1.

Sacramento was playing their best basketball of the season when the pandemic put a hold on everything. Richaun Holmes had just returned from injury and was preparing to reclaim his starting center position when the league abruptly shut their doors. There also is a chance that Marvin Bagley will return to action after playing just 13 games overall due to thumb and foot injuries.

Kings players have been filtering into the practice facility over the last few weeks for individual workouts with the hopes of getting back in shape for a potential return.

While the GM survey isn’t the final determining factor, it is a piece to puzzle for Commissioner Adam Silver as he tries to navigate an incredibly difficult task of balancing player safety and getting the league back on line.

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Kings make way to Orlando bubble, receive weekend practice schedule

Practice? Are we talking about practice?

The Sacramento Kings left behind their shutdown practice facility on Wednesday morning. They headed out on a non-stop flight to the Orlando bubble where they’ll spend the next five weeks at a minimum.

They’ll head straight to their assigned rooms in The Yacht Club resort on the Disney World campus where they’ll initially be quarantined before jumping onto the practice court.

On Wednesday morning, the NBA released the practice schedule for the first few days of the bubble. The Kings will have their first practice session Friday evening at the Coronado Fiesta from 2-5 p.m. PT.

That's the first time the Kings are allowed to meet as an entire group. They are cleared to practice, hit the weight training and begin team meetings. Individual workouts are also available during this time.

[RELATED: How Kings are handling leaving family behind for Orlando]

Sacramento returns to the practice court on Saturday from 3-6 p.m. PT on Coronado 2. It’s a quick 11-day build-up before the team has its first scrimmage on July 22 against the Miami Heat.

Barring a major setback, the Kings won’t have long before they are playing real games. They open their schedule on July 31 against the San Antonio Spurs and they’ll play at least every other day until the conclusion of their eight-game schedule on August 13.

NBA rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to wear 'Education Reform' on jersey

NBA rumors: Kings' Kent Bazemore to wear 'Education Reform' on jersey

The NBA restart has the potential to mean more than just eight games, a potential play-in series and then a standard playoffs. The NBA is trying to lead the way in professional sports by creating a potentially repeatable concept.

The league is also allowing players to continue to be a part of the national conversation regarding racial inequality in America. Courts will be adorned with “Black Lives Matter” graphics. The league will hold symposiums and use their platform to promote change.

In addition, players will be allowed to wear jerseys with a message on the back. On Tuesday, we learned that Sacramento Kings small forward Kent Bazemore has already chosen what his uniform will say when he walks out on the court.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, Bazemore will join the Portland Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum with the message “Education Reform.”

According to multiple reports, the NBA has a group of sayings that players can choose from, including “Vote”, “Equality” and “Enough.” There are likely more options than what we have seen to date.

Bazemore’s teammate Harrison Barnes addressed the potential for wearing a message on his jersey during the Kings’ Zoom call with the media.

“I’m waiting on requirements -- do we get eight different ones? Do we get one? How many words? What’s the censorship?” Barnes said. “I’m definitely going to do something, I’m just waiting on the additional guidelines and what we can do.”

Barnes is one of many of the Kings players to find their voice during the last few months following the shooting death of George Floyd. There appears to be a national awakening and there is positive movement towards actual change.

[RELATED: Bazemore could envision staying for 'next couple of years']

“I think we’re at a unique time, just as a society, where so many different discussions are happening at once and change, it seems closer now than it’s ever been, although there is still a wide gap,” Barnes added.

Expect plenty of the Kings players to be involved in the discussions regarding social change in Orlando. The team itself has taken a huge role in the conversation and they support their players in the venture as well.