It looks like the Sacramento Kings will be one of the squads whose season will continue.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne are reporting that the NBA’s Board of Governors are expected to approve commissioner Adam Silver’s plan to resume the 2019-20 season with 20-to-22 teams.
Under Silver’s proposal, the league will continue play in Orlando at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at some point in July. The NBA needs a three-fourths majority to approve the plan, which Woj says is ver likely to happen.
“The 22-team plan would include teams that are currently within six games of the final playoff spots in each conference, sources said. New Orleans, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento and San Antonio would land in Orlando under those guidelines, with Washington joining as the only team within six games of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. A proposal for 20 teams remains alive, and that format would include New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio and Sacramento, sources said.”
The league hasn’t announced any formal plans for how the schedule will play out, but a play-in tournament, and World Cup style format are on the table. The good news for Kings fans is that the team’s season will continue, regardless of which option the NBA decides to go with.
Sacramento was just 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies when the season went on hiatus on March 11. The Kings were rolling leading up to the shutdown, winning 13-out-of-20 games to get back in the race.
What will be interesting to see is if a lower seed can make a deep run, considering the unprecedented circumstances the league will be under. With players being away from their respective facilities for an extended period, chemistry will be a big factor.
Marvin Bagley III is expected to be healthy and ready to go, and with the 22-year-old De’Aaron Fox leading the way, Sacramento has the potential to surprise some teams.
Out of the options available to the league, I think the 20-team format with a play-in tournament featuring Sacramento, Memphis, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Portland is the best one for the Kings.
Sacramento’s combined record this season against the other four teams is 6-5. The Kings performance against the four squads was much better as the team began to recover from injuries and gain chemistry, going 5-1 since Jan. 1.
With the league getting closer to a return, do you prefer the 20-or-22 team format?
On to some more links:
The Kings recovered from an atrocious start to get back into postseason contention. The Athletic’s Jason Jones says the team earned their right to have a shot in the playoffs.
The tumultuous relationship between DeMarcus Cousins and former head coach George Karl played out like a soap opera. Karl joined the Purple Talk podcast and reflect on his time in Sacramento. (h/t Bleacher Report’s Tim Daniels)
We still don’t know how the NBA will conduct its 2020 Draft Lottery. If the Kings are eliminated during the play-in tournament, they will likely have a shot to win the lottery. Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman put together a list of surprise 2020 draft picks each lottery team can target.