According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA has sent teams a proposal for major changes to the 2021-22 season. These adjustments include a reduced season of 78 games, an in-season tournament, a play-in tournament for 7-8 playoff seeds, and a reseeding of the final 4 playoff teams based on their respective regular-season records.
In order for these changes to take effect, the league needs approval from at least 23 teams (two-thirds of the league) and the Players Association. Then, in April, they will need to be passed at the league’s Board of Governor’s meeting.
As motivation for the in-season tournament, there will be a $1M-per-player prize incentive for winners.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski explains that some teams are skeptical about the changes saying, “Some team executives are skeptical about the plans. Among the concerns of top front-office officials discussing these ideas with the league office: Star players might prefer the five-day scheduling break that would come with not qualifying for the tournament rather than competing for the financial reward of a winner-take-all event that requires a quarterfinal, semifinal and title round to become champion.”
The potential in-season tournament would include all 30 teams and start with a divisional group stage before moving on to an eight-team single-elimination round.
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