Bulls Left Out As NBA Finalizes Restart Plan

The NBA is eyeing a 22-team restart of its suspended season.

Cody Westerlund
June 03, 2020 - 11:24 am
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(670 The Score) The Bulls' disappointing season is all but officially over.

The NBA is finalizing a plan for a 22-team restart of its suspended season in Orlando in late July, and it won't include the Bulls, according to reports. The NBA will invite all 16 teams currently in playoff position as well as pursuers within six games of the eighth seed -- which includes five extra teams in the West (Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs and Suns) and just the Wizards in the East, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported.

At 22-43, the underachieving Bulls are eight games back of the eighth-seeded Magic in the East.

The 22 teams that will convene in a campus environment at Walt Disney Resort will play eight more regular-season games, ESPN reported. After that, if the ninth seed is more than four games behind the eighth seed, the eighth seed will advance to the playoffs, ESPN reported. If the difference is four games or fewer, a play-in tournament will be held for the final playoff spot.

The NBA will hold a Board of Governors meeting Thursday to vote on commissioner Adam Silver's return-to-play proposal, for which approval is considered a formality.

In a recent call with the league, Bulls ownership expressed the desire to be included in the NBA's restart plan, but others in the organization didn't desire to return to action, the Athletic reported.

All eyes will now turn to the future of Bulls coach Jim Boylen, who has endured a rocky tenure in leading Chicago to a 39-84 record across parts of two seasons. Behind the scenes, the Bulls have been preparing to move on from Boylen, Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times has previously reported.

Clarity on Boylen's future is expected to come fairly quickly from the Bulls after the NBA officially announces its restart plan.

The Bulls currently hold the No. 7 spot in draft lottery positioning. Assuming no changes are made by the NBA to its draft lottery, the Bulls will hold a 7.5% chance to land the No. 1 pick and a 32% chance to land a top-four pick. Clarity on the draft lottery front -- specifically for how teams in the race for the eighth seed could be affected by movement in the standings -- is expected to be revealed Thursday.