NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will offer a return-to-play proposal to the league's Board of Governors on Thursday that includes 22 teams convening in Orlando, FL at Disney World, and the draft lottery and combine taking place in August.
The news, which was first reported by The Athletic, would mean the Washington Wizards play more games this year, as they have the 22nd-best record in the league. And the specific playoff rules would allow for them to potentially qualify if they made up some ground in the standings.
The Wizards currently sit 5 1/2 games back out of the eighth spot, but the NBA's proposal would have a play-in tournament. If the Wizards were fewer than four games out of eighth by the end of the regular season, they would play the No. 8 team for a playoff berth. Right now, the eighth-ranked team in the East is the Orlando Magic, but they are only a half-game behind the Brooklyn Nets.
The play-in format would be a short series. According to ESPN, the ninth-seed would have to beat the eighth-seed twice to get in.
For the Wizards, there is a lot to like about this scenario. If it were agreed upon, they would be able to play more games and have a chance at the playoffs without being handed a spot.
According to ESPN, each team would play eight regular-season games before the playoffs. Even if the Wizards didn't make it, they would have eight games to develop their young players with something to fight for in terms of playoff stakes.
Eight games would also be plenty of time for them to potentially improve their draft stock. They currently have the ninth-best odds, but in this scenario would have room to move up or down.
The Wizards are 24-40 at the moment. Eight more games would give them 72 on the year, just 10 short of a full 82-game season. That would be longer and much closer to a full season than the lockout years of 1998-99 (50 games) and 2011-12 (66 games).
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