The NBA has discussed a scenario where the top-20 teams in the entire league regardless of conference play in a Group Stage style first round. The New Orleans Pelicans would be included in this scenario, alongside the Portland Trail Blazers, the Sacramento Kings and the San Antonio Spurs.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, there is a believe within the NBA world that the proposal “is an elaborate game to get Zion Williamson into this bubble. I’m not saying the NBA is going this route, I’m just saying I’ve already heard this scenario that no matter what happens, the cutoff line will be the Pelicans. They’ll be in.”