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.
Sources: NBA has sent GMs the results from GM survey:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 29, 2020
- 53% of GMs chose advancing directly to playoffs; 27% for resuming abbreviated season with play-in
- 60% voted for 72-game season
- "Playoffs Plus": 83% voted 20 or more teams
- Non-playoff teams split on resuming season
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.
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.