O’Connor’s Latest: GM Survey, Roster Expansion, Lottery, More

On Thursday, the NBA held a call with its 30 teams’ heads of basketball operations – general managers and those with similar titles – to discuss a potential return to play, as well as the results of the survey the league sent those GMs earlier this month.

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, half of the league’s GMs voted to proceed directly to the playoffs without playing any more regular season games. And just over half of the league’s GMs were in favor or reseeding playoff teams one through 16, regardless of conference. Meanwhile, support for a play-in pool similar to the World Cup’s group stage was lukewarm — approximately 75% of GMs voted for a play-in tournament, with just 25% or so supporting the play-in pool concept.

As O’Connor notes, the call was about gathering information rather than committing to a specific plan. The NBA still has a Board of Governors call scheduled to happen today, and even then, talks are expected to continue through the weekend without a formal vote on a return to play quite yet, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms (via Twitter).

As for which plans received more support in the GM survey, the NBA is aware that the results, in many cases, reflect a team’s particular interests — for instance, the Lakers and Bucks supported a play-in tournament over a play-in pool, since the latter would result in a more challenging path to the second round.

“Adam isn’t taking the results seriously,” one team executive told O’Connor earlier in the week. “Every team is obviously gonna vote for what’s best for them.”

Here’s more from O’Connor:

  • General managers “unanimously” favor the idea of expanding rosters for the postseason, sources tell The Ringer.
  • According to O’Connor, the NBA’s preference is for no group workouts to take place until teams arrive in Orlando, since the league will be in a better position to implement its own safety measures and COVID-19 testing procedures there. However, teams are pushing back against that idea, arguing that their players need more of a ramp-up period, and multiple executives expect the NBA to relent, O’Connor writes.
  • Teams on Thursday’s call had questions about how the draft lottery would work in the event of a play-in tournament or other tweaks to the usual playoff format. There are no clear answers yet on that issue, per The Ringer.
  • According to O’Connor, every source he has spoken to this week believes that the NBA would prefer to have at least some of its teams stay home. The league is prioritizing health and safety – ie. minimizing the amount of people in its “bubble” – over fulfilling certain regional television contracts.
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8 thoughts on “O’Connor’s Latest: GM Survey, Roster Expansion, Lottery, More

  1. acarneglia

    How would an expansion of rosters look? All 15 guys active? No limits on 2 way contracts?

    • cleve1969

      I’m assuming that they will let us know once they decide and the time is right to release such information … all you are doing is guessing !!!

  2. Skip, Tampa

    Heck, that’s all anybody including the NBA is doing, just guessing right now.
    Although I do agree that the 2 Way players should be added for the playoffs.
    My vote would be to go straight to the playoffs.
    Should bring in the G League teams for 6 or 7 scrimmage games to help everyone ramp up and get in game shape.
    Than can start the 15th of July with the playoffs on August 1st.
    Still be a November start to next year and likely 72 game schedule as well.
    Dismissing the G League and Summer League is a mistake.
    If all this gets pushed past July 22nd playoff start, then end season and start fresh next year.
    One bad year is better than 2 back to back seasons.
    Love to see the Playoffs and absolutely loath the current Circus play in stuff.
    Just my Mickey Mouse 2 cents worth at this point. Dang it all, another opinion.
    Play Ball !!!

    • jump shot

      There was talk that if all the teams dont play there would be “all star” teams comprised of players from different teams not playing, and they would play exhibition games against the 16 playoff teams.

      • That would be kind of fun to see but thinking it through now, I’m sure the best-of-the-best would not play. It would be like a second tier of great players… sort of when the college guys played the NBA guys back in the 80s in prep for the Olympics. There was Bird I think and Isaiah Thomas, but then you had those other guys that weren’t superstars. I would definitely watch.

  3. emac22

    50% more owners voted for the play in tourney than going straight to the playoffs in case anyone was confused by presentation.

  4. x%sure

    Silver should put everything in bubbles and enforce rules or he is exposing the whole sport to allegations just to please GMs. Whatever happens will not be just “sports news” aiming to please only sports fans.

    GMs failed and are overstimulated. Resumption is exciting enough; it doesn’t have to be playoffs; initially it does NOT have to match audience excitement. It won’t. The audience is screwed up with cabin fever not covid19.

    The owners will vote for more games played, the commish will build his legacy, the players will show up or not (so it would help to interpret some input from them). GMs can watch as superfans.

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