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Sources: NBA board expected to OK restart plan

The NBA is planning a Thursday vote of the league’s Board of Governors — with owners expected to approve commissioner Adam Silver’s recommendation on a format to restart the season in Orlando, Florida, sources tell ESPN.

The NBA has been examining several plans on a return-to-play, but numerous members of the Board of Governors tell ESPN that there’s growing support for a plan to bring 22 teams to Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports in July.

This format would likely include regular-season and play-in games to compete for playoff berths in both the Eastern and Western Conferences, sources said.

The NBA needs a three-fourths majority of owners to approve a return-to-play plan and an overwhelming majority of owners expressed a desire to do precisely that on both a Board of Governors call on Friday and later in interviews with ESPN.

“We are lining up behind him on this,” one owner told ESPN on Friday. “The posturing will end. Nothing is going to be perfect for everyone.”

The NBA has yet to endorse a plan, and only one of the four ideas presented on Friday’s Board of Governors call is no longer believed to be a legitimate consideration — bringing back all 30 teams, sources said.

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 would include only New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio and Sacramento in that format, sources said.

Discussions have centered on these formats including several regular-season games and a play-in tournament to decide the playoff participants.

Regardless of how many teams are ultimately included in the playoffs, the NBPA has consistently stressed that it wants several regular-season games played prior to the start of the playoffs, sources said. That has been a prevailing sentiment among several contending teams who prefer a tune-up before entering into the postseason, sources said.

The NBA and NBPA are also mindful of generating revenue on the resumption of a season, and regular season and play-in games at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports will generate increased money — as opposed to only restarting the season with the playoffs. ESPN is owned by the Walt Disney Company.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe contributed to this story.

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