OKC Thunder: GM survey offers hints to how NBA will resume season

OKC Thunder General Manager Sam Presti speaks to media at preseason media (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder General Manager Sam Presti speaks to media at preseason media (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A survey sent to General Managers will offer input for season resumption preferences. Check out the choices OKC Thunder Sam Presti will ponder.

Phase one of easing the NBA toward a resumption of the season witnessed the OKC Thunder and a majority of teams re-opening their practice facilities. The next phase would be recalling all players not currently back in their team’s market. Further guidelines are expected on June 1st when it’s anticipated the full schedule outline and plan will be revealed.

As part of the process, the NBA brain trust is gathering information and sifting through the information to form this definitive step by step plan. This past weekend, the league reached out to General Managers to run various scenarios to decipher preferences. Specifically, the league is seeking to determine where the majority resides for how the season would play out.

Sham Charnia of the paid-for subscription The Athletic outlined the options in his recent article.

GMs were asked to provide preferences on a myriad of schedule semantics. Everything is being considered such as whether training camps would only occur in the team marketplace or begin there and finish in the venue(s) selected for the college campus bubble setting.

A key component of the schedule will be if all 30 teams would participate and how many games of the schedule should be played. T.I. has touched on this in previous articles noting the main consideration is delivering enough games for each market to collect on regional TV contracts with 70 games tending to be the minimum requirement. To that end, the GM survey two offerings were for 72 or 76 games.

At the time of the suspension teams had between 15 and18 games left to complete the 2019-20 campaign. Therefore, the league is looking at shaving between six and 10 games from the regular allotment of 82. In the event a majority of teams preferred a 72 game season, that would equate to five to eight matches left to play with between two and five preseason type games played prior. In the case of the OKC Thunder they’ve completed 64 games so they would play either eight or 12 games to meet the 72 or76 matches.

During the last two and half months of hiatus, pundits have offered their best guesses on what a season return would look like. Some feel the league should dive directly in the playoffs while others are keen to finish all or a portion of the season.

Main options in GM survey for season resumption:

Even how the playoffs look is up for debate with Adam Silver previously stating he desired all playoff series to play the full best of seven. As per Adrian Wojnarowski, the return to play scenarios include:

  • All 30 teams play a reduced schedule leading directly into the playoffs.
  • A play-in tournament of sorts with pool-play rounds.
  • Or a play-in model with less than the full complement of teams but more than the current 16 seeded teams.  Charania’s article noted GMs were asked if 18, 20, 22, or 24 teams should be included. The latter meaning between one team or four teams outside the current seeds also included.

Option of seeding league’s top 16 seeds:

The most intriguing question pundits are waging opinions on stems from the prospect of reseeding the teams based on records without conferences playing a role. That’s something some owners and media have desired for some time.

The clear problem with that scenario in terms of extending it beyond this season is the travel aspect. In a typical season it would mean some teams would be traveling coast to coast for every series while other teams could end up playing in the same state for two or three rounds.

More from Thunderous Intentions

As an example it’s conceivable in future seasons teams from California or Texas could be matched up in each round. If other teams were traveling coast to coast that would take an unfair toll on the health of the players. And, capturing a top seed wouldn’t protect them from this – it would all depend on where all the teams aligned.

Another deterrent to doing this is the historic repercussions and how it would affect all-time records plus the loss of same-conference rivalries.

Potential seeding:

If teams jumped directly into the playoffs or finish precisely where they were seeded when the season went on hiatus this is how the first-round would align:

(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (16) Orlando Magic (same)

(2) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (15) Brooklyn Nets

(3) Toronto Raptors vs. (14) Memphis Grizzlies

(4) LA Clippers vs. (13) Dallas Mavericks (same)

(5) Boston Celtics vs. (12) Philadelphia 76ers (same)

(6) Denver Nuggets vs. (11) Indiana Pacers

(7) Utah Jazz vs (10) Houston Rockets

(8) Miami Heat vs. (9)  OKC Thunder

Next. 5 ‘Last Dance’ lessons Thunder can use to build title team. dark