While the Trail Blazers were the only NBA team to vote against the NBA’s return-to-play plan, they weren’t the only Northwest club that would have preferred a solution besides the 22-team format the league settled on.
Two league sources tell Mike Singer of The Denver Post that the Nuggets initially voted in favor of a plan that would have sent the 16 current playoff teams immediately to the postseason. According to Singer, Denver was “strongly” opposed to a 20-team format that would’ve involved a World Cup-style group stage, believing it undermined the team’s regular season success.
While those 16- and 20-team plans received consideration, Silver ultimately decided that the 22-team format was in the NBA’s best interest, and when he brought it to the league’s Board of Governors for a vote on Thursday, the Nuggets voted to approve it.
Here’s more from around the Northwest:
- Now that the Nuggets have officially clinched a playoff spot, Nikola Jokic ($466K) and Paul Millsap ($150K) have secured their playoff bonuses for the 2019/20 season, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks observes (via Twitter).
- In a series of pieces for The Athletic, Tony Jones examines what the NBA’s return-to-play format means for the Jazz, while Jason Quick does the same for the Trail Blazers and Jon Krawczynski explores what’s next for the Timberwolves now that they’ve been left out of the league’s return. Although Utah is assured a playoff spot and Portland isn’t, the Jazz will be missing injured forward Bojan Bogdanovic, while the Blazers should get big men Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins back in their lineup.
- Within his own look at what the restart plan means for the Thunder, Erik Horne of The Athletic reports that Andre Roberson would be ready to play now if the season hadn’t been suspended. Without being able to scrimmage or practice at all over the last three months, it’s not clear if Roberson will return this summer, but it sounds like it’s a possibility. The veteran forward, who has battled multiple knee issues, hasn’t played in an NBA game in over two years.