The NBA could soon be getting an extreme makeover.
The league is currently engaged in serious discussions with the National Basketball Players Association and broadcast partners to make “sweeping, dramatic changes to the league calendar,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.
Among these changes include a 30-team in-season tournament, postseason play-in games and reseeding of the four conference finalists.
The regular season would also be reduced to a 78-game minimum season from the current 82 games they play in order to accommodate the proposed changes. It is also possible for a team to play a maximum of 83 games based on tournament and play-in scenarios.
While discussions are ongoing, the league is hopeful to hold a vote on these proposed changes at the Board of Governors meeting in April to implement into the 2021-22 season — the NBA’s 75th anniversary. No changes can be made without an agreement with the NBPA.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who has previously mulled the idea of an in-season tournament modeled after European soccer, has reportedly been the driving force behind the proposed changes with hopes to “combat stagnation” in a fast-growing consumer environment.
Playoff reseeding has been done by the WNBA for several seasons, and could create an NBA Finals between two teams from the same conference.
There will still be 16 teams total to make the playoffs, but the No. 7 seed would play the No. 8 seed for direct entry, while the loser of that game would play the winner of a game between the No. 9 and No. 10 seed for the final playoff berth.
There is still plenty of common ground needed to be reached between the league and the players association, including compensation for players and coaches for advancement in the tournaments.
The two sides are currently considering the possibility of the tournament occurring after Thanksgiving and into mid-December, but are reluctant to have the tournament games occur on Christmas. The league and networks still prefer to have elite teams and big markets play on Christmas Day.