Big changes could be coming to the NBA in the near future.
According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the league is considering making sweeping changes that include a shortened regular season, an in-season soccer-style, tournament, reseeding in the playoffs, and a new play-in scenario for the playoffs.
Wojnarowski reports that the NBA is in "serious discussions" with the NBA Players Association and broadcast partners in regard to these new proposals, with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver behind the majority of the changes, and that the league is hoping to implement them for the 2021-22 season, with the framework needing to be established by this April's board of governors meeting.
Under the new proposals, the regular season would be shortened from it's current 82 games to a minimum of 78 games, though teams could end up playing more than 78 due to the in-season tournament and play-in games for the playoffs. In fact, a team could end up playing a maximum of 83 regular season games, more than the current schedule.
The in-season tournament would feature all 30 teams and be built around the European soccer model. It would begin with a divisional group stage that would be based on already-scheduled regular season contests. Then, a "pre-knockout" round would consist of six division winners from that group stage and two teams with the next best records. The remainder of the tournament, which could potentially take place in late November-early December each year, would be single elimination.
As for playoff reseeding, under the new proposal the final four teams in the playoffs would be reseeded regardless of conference, meaning that two teams from the same conference could end up facing off in the NBA Finals.
Silver has consistently pushed the NBA to be one of the more forward-thinking leagues in professional sports, and these proposals would certainly represent a seismic shift in the NBA season and playoffs.