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The NBA is engaged in serious discussions with the National Basketball Players Association and broadcast partners on sweeping and dramatic changes to the league calendar that would include a reseeding of the four conference finalists, a 30-team in-season tournament and a postseason play-in, league sources told ESPN.

These scenarios would include the shortening of the regular season to a minimum of 78 games, league sources said.

Discussions are progressing with hopes of bringing a vote to the April meeting of the league's Board of Governors that would introduce some -- if not all -- of these proposals into the NBA's 75th anniversary season of 2021-22, league sources said. The NBA still has work to do coordinating with constituents on the myriad implications involving the proposed changes.

The reseeding of teams in the semifinal round based on regular-season record could give the NBA a championship series that includes its best two teams. The WNBA has been seeding teams in the playoffs without regard to conference for several seasons.

Commissioner Adam Silver has been driving this agenda of change -- especially the in-season tournament cup modeled after European soccer -- for years. The NBA is selling the idea of lucrative television and sponsorship revenue that would drive long-term growth and combat stagnation in a rapidly splintering consumer environment.

The league is working to make sure the loss of revenue for teams and players with a shortened regular season would be break even or better initially, with significant financial windfalls in the long term.

The NBA cannot implement these changes without an agreement with the NBPA, and those talks have been ongoing between groups led by Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts, league sources said.

In proposals that include adoption of in-season tournaments and post-season play-in, the traditional regular season schedule would be reduced from 82 games -- with most teams scheduled to play 78 or 79 games. There's an extremely limited possibility of a team playing a maximum of 83 games based on on possible tournament and play-in scenarios, league sources said. For the in-season tournament, the NBA is focused on 30-team participation that begins with a divisional group stage of scheduled regular-season games.

Those pre-knockout round games will be part of the regular-season schedule. Six divisional winners -- based on home and away records in the group stage -- and teams with the next two best records would advance to a single-elimination knockout round, league sources said.

Those teams could each potentially compete in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.

Proposals exist that would compensate players and coaches for advancing in and winning the tournament, league sources said. Even with possible passage, the NBA has no illusions that it will get the entire league to make an immediate enthusiastic commitment to the importance of competing for an in-season tournament championship, but it does believe that would come with time and tradition.

The NBA and NBPA are finding common ground on a post-Thanksgiving tournament window that would extend into mid-December, league sources said. Months ago, the NBA had proposed a late January-February tournament that would culminate with a Final Four during All-Star weekend, sources said. That idea faded fast. Both the union and team executives expressed concern over that idea. The NBPA was resistant to shortening players' All-Star breaks and requiring some to potentially participate in the in-season tournament and All-Star weekend.

Teams were concerned that roster turnover at the early February trade deadline and ensuing buyout/waiver window could compromise the integrity of the tournament.

As for timing, there was uncertainty whether holding the tournament in January would risk losing viewership and media attention to the NFL playoffs. Running into March would mean competing with college basketball. The post-Thanksgiving window gives the NBA the chance to compete against only conference bowl championships and less consequential early bowl games.

The NBA has been hesitant about shoehorning tournament games onto the Christmas Day schedule; the league (and its network partners, including ESPN and ABC) wants to make sure every Christmas game features elite teams and franchises from the biggest markets.

The play-in proposal is this: two four-team tournaments featuring the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th seeds in each conference. The seventh seed would host the eighth seed, with the winner of that single game earning the seventh spot, league sources said.

The ninth seed would host the 10th seed, with the winner of that game facing the loser of the 7-versus-8 matchup for the final playoff spot.

Roberts and staff have been discussing league proposals extensively at the NBPA level and recently began bringing details of the league's calendar proposals to the broader membership on a team-by-team basis, sources said. Roberts and union officials meet with all 30 teams over the course of each regular season. These sessions with players are starting to take shape. As a high-ranking source said, "So far, there's been no real pushback."

For the NBA to achieve its goal of implementation of the proposed changes for the 2021-22 anniversary season, there's a clock on finding a framework that works for the teams, union and television partners before the April meeting of the Board of Governors, league sources said. Talks are ongoing, but legitimate and serious traction is emerging for dramatic change for the future of the NBA.



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Would certainly make the regular season more interesting. I don't like the group stage of the tournament though, since it removes the element of randomness that allows the David's of the world beat the Goliaths. 

One of the biggest knocks about the euro tournaments (both champions league and euro league) is the group stages, since it makes it more rare and difficult to have a Cinderella story.

The playoffs are already designed to minimize the element of randomness by having 7 game series where the law of averages has more time to kick in. I'd have liked the in season cup to be the opposite of that, to give teams who would otherwise not really be contending have a chance at glory regardless 
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Not a fan of a mid-season tourney. A play-in tourney for the playoffs makes sense to me. Fewer games for most teams would also be good. 
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I don't like that it is adding layers of complications without clear benefits. Fine, mid-season tournament - but where does it lead? What are the incentives for everyone involved? Is it leading to play-offs in some way or are we going to have some meaningless thing like the divisions right now?

I'd much rather have 32 teams, four divisions, division tournaments hosted in city of a team with best regular season record from previous year for each respective division - this as form of reward for regular season success via additional revenue. Then those four tournament winners go to play another tournament hosted by NBA champion from last year and finalists get a playoff spot guaranteed.

Outside of divisions, you play a balanced schedule. There are no conferences, top 14 teams + tournament finalists make the playoffs and are seeded based on overall record for the season. Each team ends up playing 48 games against three other divisions. Additional 28 games within division that include the division tournament. That is 76 games guaranteed with caveat that intra-division schedule has to be adjusted after division tournament so equal number of games can be played with each opponent.

Never liked the play in tournament but I wouldn't hate it. Add that and some teams play close to 82 games.

I'd change the All-star format - have four All-Star teams with six players representing each division play a sudden death tournament over the weekend. You get historically compatible 24 All-Stars - which doesn't devalue All-Star appearence value -  they are just split into four teams and three total games. Have first two games on Friday, move rookie game to Saturday with dunk contest and 3pt shooting - remove skill challenge, shooting stars, horse and other crap. Motivate players by making all six guys on winning All-Star team instantly get a spot on a All-NBA team - with final ranking of those determined at end of season via weighted media+player+coaches vote. That impacts contracts and status and is potentially way better financial reward than any additional fund yet creates no extra issues for BRI split.

You can keep a shadow of conferences in first and second round if you want to reduce travel but I don't think that is really necessary. Either way, I'd be fine with it. If kept I bet it would be phased out in a few years so I'd rather cut it out right away.

I'd put two new franchises in Seattle and Vancouver, both of which would go to division with Utah, Denver, Portland, Sacramento, GSW, OKC . Minnesota and Memphis would be aligned with Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Indiana, Charlotte. You'd have Toronto, Boston, NYK, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta together which leaves Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, New Orleans, Phoenix, Lakers and Clippers. Divisional alignment can be easily tweaked, this was off the top of my head. Heck, you could change these every few years based on some accumulated points, projections and geography so you can end up with better balance and refreshment.

Most importantly, introduce FUTILITY TAX that punishes losing and incompetency by the owner. Essentially, if you don't reach certain thresholds in any five year period (e.g. .400 record in a season, get to mid-season tournament final four, make playoffs etc...) - your books get audited and the league takes any and all profit and redistributes it to other worthy teams. So while you can own a team and do as you wish, you can't be a perpetual loser and still make shitload money. You won't be losing money, just being forced to only break even. Once you cross any threshold, your five year counter resets and you get to enjoy making a shitload of money via your own revenue, revenue sharing, luxury tax sharing etc...

In a way a breadcrumb trail of incentives for everyone involved and a ready to burn blowtorch under everyone's ass.
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I like all of these ideas aside from the mid season tournament 
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@elT what do you think about this proposal :



1, Change the way the NBA is divided :


A, Instaed of two conferences and 6 divisions, let’s reduce all of it to an even 4 conferences.

if the talk of an expansion in Mexico and another one in the US is still in play for the near futur, then 4 conferences of 8 teams allow for some nice schemes.


4 conferences of 8 teams = 32 teams.

I think it also work with 30 teams, but i would be 2 conference (Atlantic and pacific) with 8 teams, and 2 conference with 7 teams (North and South)

B, the 4 conferences would be :

Atlantic :

Boston, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando

North :

Denver, Minnesota, Indiana, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto

Pacific :

LAL, LAC, Sacramento, San Fransisco, Portland, Phienixx, Utah + (Seattle)*

South :

Atlanta, Memphis, New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Oklahoma City, + (Mexico)*

if 30 teams, then denver would be in the pacific conference. 


*see the map i join


* the team or city are exemples, not a given !

2, Structure of the season

Less travel for every team.


A, Two Internal Conference sessions

- Autumn session (start of season )

- Spring session (March-April)


- 2 games against every team of the conference (Home and Away) 14 games.


B, Three sessions against a specific conference :

- December session - 16 games

- January session – 16 games

- Post All star session – 16 games


C, The Winter tournament, in two parts :

1, The Intern conference tournament with consolation games.

The two teams which get to the finals of the consolation tournament don’t matchup. They are declare both 3rd.

That means all the teams in the tournament will play 3 games.

they do it in judo competition for exemple :

* see the bracket i koin in



 2, the Winter Final tournament :

on the same format as the conference tournament, the winter final tournament would be compose of the two finalists of each conference tournament.


The games of the winter tounament (internal and all nba) will not count for the regular season seeding (playoffs or dragt)


C, exemple of a season for a specific team :

For this exemple, i will take the North Conference

I put at least 2 days rest between each session.

No Back to Back (exception at home)

I will take the season 2022-23 ðŸ™to get the expansion done !)


Start of the season : October 25th 2022 :


- Autumn North Conference Session : 14 games

Tuesday October 25th until November 23th


- Session against Pacific Conference : 16 games

Nov 25th until Dec 25th 2022


- Session against Atlantic Conference : 16 games

Dec 27th 2022 until Jan 26th 2022.


- North Conference Tournament : élimination, 3 rounds

From Jan 28th to Feb 2nd 2023.

- 1 week in one city of the conference, exemple  here in Indiana.

- Every year a different city


- Winter finals Tournament : 3 rounds

From Feb 4th to Feb 9th 2023.

8 teams final tournament (the 2 finalists of each conference tournament)

(1 week tournament in the city of the all-star)

- 1st round : Feb 4th 2022 – Saturday

- 1st round consolation ; Feb 5th 2022 - Sunday

- 2nd round : Feb 6th 2022 - Monday

- 2nd round consolation ; Feb 7th - Tuesday

- 3rd round Consolation : Feb 8th – Wednesday

- 3rd round / Final ; Feb 9th – Thursday


- All Star : Feb 10th to FEB 12th

- Pause : Feb 13th to Feb 15th


- Session against South Conference : 16 games

Feb 16th until March 16th 2023.



- Spring North Conference Session : 14 games

March 18th until April 12th 2023.


- Start of the Playoffs : April 15th

D, regular season impact :

D,1 : seeding impact : the seeding at the end of the winter tournament will serve two purposes :

- lottery bonus for team in the lower seed.

For exemple ;
A team in the north conference finish the season with a 1
8W-58L, last in their conference. If they pass the first round of the winter tournament (intern conference) they get a point bonus in the lottery.
If they pass the second round of the intern conference tournament they get another point bonus in the lottery, e

- Playoffs team which win the tournament get home court advantage during all the playoffs, whatever the seeding during regular season and the seeding of their opponent.

- In case a team which don’t make the playoffs from regular season seeding, but goes to the final of the intern conference tournament, this team will play a game against the team with the worst record of the conference which make the playoffs (6th seed)


D,2 : Number of games during the regular season for every team ;

- Two intern conference sessions : 28 games

- Three sessions against others conferences : 48 games


- Winter tournament (intern conference part) : 3 games

- Winter Tournament (Allstar city) : 3 games

Winter tournament : 3 to 6 games

- a team in a conference which finish the intern tournament under the second place would play a total of 79 games before the playoffs.

- a team which goes to the final winter tournament, would play 82 games.



E, Playoffs :


E,1 : Internal conference :


*0. preliminary game : elimination game

In case a team which don’t make the playoffs from regular season seeding, but goes to the final of the intern conference tournament, this team will play a game against the team with the worst record of the conference which make the playoffs (6th seed)


1, First round : 3 Games series

Team seeded between 3rd and 6th play an entry round, in the best of 3 games.

2, Second round : 5 games series

the winners of the entry round face the 2 best teams of the conference.


E,2, Finals

The two winners the conference rounds go to the finals (8 teams total)


The first season of this format, at the begging of the season (or during the draft), a flip coin choose which conference will face the other one.

For exemple, North finalists would play the Pacific Finalists, and the Atlantic finalists would face the South Finalists.

At after that first year it’s a three year turn-around.
And every fourth year, we do another coin flip to start the new three year turn-around.


The seeding of the regular season apply for the seeding of the quarter finals :

in this exemple the first team of the North Conference got the best record in the regular season (all nba), the 1st in the South got the second best record, etc....


Of course if the 2nd team in a conference got a better regular season record than the first team of the opponent conference, it will get home court advantage. The exception would be if the opponent team had won the winter tournament.


3, Quarter finals : 7 games series :

a : 1st North Vs 2nd Pacific

b : 1st Pacific Vs 2nd North

c : 1st South Vs 2nd Atlantic

d : 1st Atlantic Vs 2nd South


3, Semi final : 7 games series :

e : Winner of Serie A Vs Winner of Serie D

f : Winner of Serie B Vs Winner of Serie C


4, Finals : 7 games series :

Winner of serie E Vs Winner serie F




4, Other aspects of the season :

a, back to back :

- Preferably home-to-home back-to-back

- if not, close locations back-to-back (2LA, 2NY, 2 Florida, 2 Valley, 2 Texas, etc...)


b, Trades

- No trade outside the conference during Intern Conference Autunmal Session.

- No trade during the Winter tournament.

- Open trade between the autumn conference session and the deadline.

- Ide Trade : A 3 days trade window between the march 13th and March 15th

also the deadline to sign player eligible for the playoffs.

- No trade between the start of the playoffs and 48h before the draft.


C, draft :

Only 8 teams lottery (the 2 worst record of each conference)

If a lottery bound team win its preliminary playoffs game, it will be exclude from the lottery.

No change in the actual process, if not for the point added for winning a round during the winter tournament.


A lottery bound team, year N, make the playoffs the season N-1 the draft, this team is exclude from the lottery, year N, but will get the first non-lottery pick (that should be the 8 pick, but it depend on the other exception - pezliminary PO game)


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We agree on a lot of things Kaddrik. Some minor details like division alignments - I wouldn't put Denver North but South, move Atlanta to Atlantic and Boston to North.  I love bundling of per division travel. You just do a tour of every division in one block of games and you are done with it, been thinking a lot about it, glad you came to same conclusion. I'd make sure all of those happen before ASB. Ditto for back to backs at home only.
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Pretty interesting stuff to think about.
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So have 'they' determined that the current model is 'broke'? Because we all know the old saying...

The re-seeding come day 1 of playoffs 1 - 16 makes sense and I think has been thrown around a lot over the years. Would allow for #1 and #2 teams in NBA to face each other but the initial round with 1 vs 16, 2 vs 15 etc might make for more lopsided outcomes (?).
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How about abolishing the East and West thing?  Everybody plays each other 3 times. Then a true 1-16 emerges. 

East/West made sense back in the day when travelling by bus. 
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Minimizing flights is both good for player health and the environment. It should absolutely be a consideration when it comes to reseeding ideas and conference shifting.
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Would be all for that. Especially if they do a knockout style for most/all of it, so you have a greater chance of fairy tale stories.
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