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The NBA’s most important conversations are coming this week

The decisions made this week will not only impact the league for the remainder of this season, but likely for many years to come

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FILE - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference before an NBA preseason basketball game. On Thursday, June 4, Silver will lay out the NBAs full proposal for the resumption of play to the league’s owners.

Jae C. Hong, AP Photo

SALT LAKE CITY — It appears that we are about a week away from learning what the rest of the 2019-20 NBA season is going to look like.

Despite all of the conversations that have happened behind closed doors, the sharing of ideas and the surveys of the NBA community since the league suspended the season on March 11, the most important conversations will be happening this week.

“The decisions made this week will not only impact the league for the remainder of this season, but likely for many years to come.” — Sarah Todd

According to multiple reports Friday, the NBA is expected to make a decision on the timeline and format of a return to play on Thursday, June 4, during an NBA Board of Governors conference call. That call will most likely consist of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver laying out a full proposal on how the NBA should proceed when it resumes play at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Once the plan has been presented to the Board of Governors there will be a vote, and it has been widely reported that owners and other executives will support whatever plan Silver ultimately decides on.

Before Silver is able to take a proposed plan to that meeting, there’s another conversation that will have to happen. Silver will have to talk with the National Basketball Players Association and its executive director, Michele Roberts, as well as team representatives, and come to an agreement on a finalized idea.

All conversations up to this point, while helpful, informative and meaningful, have been in the spirit of collecting data and taking the temperature of all parties involved. The conversations that will be had this week will be about action and there’s bound to be some people who won’t be happy with the results.

On Thursday night, The Ringer reported the results of a survey that was sent to team general managers by the league office. That survey included a wide range of questions regarding format, schedule and size of the rest of the 2019-20 season and postseason.

Overall the survey results proved that the league is ready for something new and innovative. The survey showed that 75 percent of league GMs are in favor of a postseason play-in tournament that would decide the bottom seeds in each conference. Some were in favor of World Cup-style group rounds, with half in favor of foregoing the rest of the regular season and heading straight to playoffs. Many are expecting to be playing games by the end of July.

All of that information is great to have and surely appreciated by Silver and the rest of the league office, but, as I wrote earlier this week, there continues to be competing agendas at play and there’s no way to get around that. Owners will have different opinions than general managers, who will have differing opinions from those of the players and the league office.

Just because 75 percent of the league’s GMs support a certain idea does not mean that Silver and the players will choose to go that route.

While a decision is expected in the coming week, it is very possible that the mass of ideas and opinions that have circulated throughout the NBA will delay the announcement of a finalized a plan.

In addition to the broader decisions about where, when and how the NBA will resume play, there are countless smaller details that will greatly impact every owner, team and player that has to be ironed out before games can be played. Each and every one of those minute details has to be agreed upon by Silver and the NBPA before he can take his decision to that Thursday call with the Board of Governors, who will then be asked if they are ready to move forward.

It’s been nearly 12 weeks since the NBA shut down operations. The league has swapped ideas and opinions during the entirety of that hiatus. Now it comes down to key conversations that will be had in a much shorter amount of time.

Yes, the NBA has had a lot of time to mull things over, but make no mistake, the decisions made this week will not only impact the league for the remainder of this season, but likely for many years to come.