Small-Market NBA Teams Want All Included In League’s Restart

Talks about getting the NBA up and running have been as intense as ever lately, but nailing down the details has been another story. It seems like a new option is being introduced every day, and that makes it hard to get anything accomplished.

While the sides haven’t been able to come to an agreement yet, at least the latest proposal includes every team in the league. Involving every NBA team in the return has now been put on the table

On Friday, Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett gave a heartfelt speech on why the league and its owners should consider including all 30 teams because of the competitive and financial impacts of not playing games. 

For the teams that don’t make it into the playoffs, there have already been talks of possibly having mandatory summer training camps and regional fall leagues of four to five teams that would give them momentum heading into next season. 

“The message was something bigger, reminding people that some teams can’t just reopen the doors in nine or 10 months and so easily sell tickets or a sponsorship without having played basketball for that long,” one high-level Eastern Conference official. 

Could Still Be 22

The possibility is very real that only 22 NBA teams would begin play in late July. Making that decision will come on Thursday of this week when the board of governors vote on the details to resume the season. 

A three-fourths majority of the 30 teams is needed for the league to pass the vote. However, owners do expect a unanimous vote to go through on anything the NBA tries to push through. They are ready to back NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the league in any event, in hopes the NBA Players Association is also on board. 

The details of a play-in tournament are still trying to be figured out and made sense of by those involved. It is still being determined how much of an advantage certain teams would have. In both conferences, the teams out of the playoff picture are a considerable number of wins away from making it past the regular season. 

For instance, the Brooklyn Nets (seventh seed, 30-34) and Orlando Magic (eighth seed, 30-35) have a healthy lead in their Eastern Conference playoff positioning over the Washington Wizards (ninth seed, 24-40). 

In the Western Conference, the Portland Trail Blazers (29-37), New Orleans Pelicans (28-36), and Sacramento Kings (28-36) are all 3.5 games behind the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies while the San Antonio Spurs are a full four games back. 

The question of whether these teams behind the No. 8 seed can make a move to get into position with anywhere from 15 to 18 games left is another question. Is it truly fair to give these teams a shot to make a late run, or is abiding the “play it as it lies” motto really the best plan to quickly move forward with the season. 

More Games Means More Betting Opportunities

Naturally, more NBA games mean that’s more games for bettors to put money down on. Let’s be honest; we have missed two months of basketball – one month of playoffs – since the COVID-19 pandemic. We really want as many kicks at the can as we possibly have a chance to. 

At the end of the day, the owners are going to do what’s best for their bank accounts. If they can be unlike baseball, and make a few concessions for the players, we could be looking at our favorite superstars and teams back on the hardwood towards the end of summer.