Sources: NBA would make play-in tournament permanent

LAS VEGAS – The NBA’s board of governors is expected to approve the play-in tournament on Tuesday as a regular part of future league seasons, sources told ESPN.

The NBA had been voting on including the play-in year-over-year for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons, but support exists ahead of Tuesday’s summer league owners meetings to turn the competition into an event. regular.

The governing board is also expected to approve a rule penalizing “taking a foul” on counter-attacks with a free kick and ball possession for the offence, the sources added.

The play-in tournament has grown in popularity and comfort among organizations and fans in the last two years. One of the league’s early hopes with seventh through 10th-place teams in both conferences vying for seventh and eighth playoff spots had been to curb tanking between teams and keep more franchises and more fans. committed longer in the regular season.

The NBA believes that this rule, and the flattening of lottery odds for teams with the worst records, incentivized fewer teams to actively race to the basement of the standings for better opportunities at higher draft picks.

Another change to the league’s regular season schedule, the in-season tournament, is expected to be the biggest topic of discussion at Tuesday’s meeting, the sources said. Commissioner Adam Silver and the league have been discussing the tournament throughout the season and its impact on the schedule and revenue on an ongoing basis with the players’ association.

Both entry and seasonal tournaments must be collectively bargained with the union.

Talks have focused on an eight-team single-elimination tournament that is expected to wrap up before Christmas. One proposal would also shorten the regular season from 82 to 78 games.

The sides had discussed a $1 million per player purse for the winning team, and the players would likely see further financial and competitive incentives before an agreement on the format could be reached. The NBA has been motivated by the prospect of lucrative television and sponsorship revenue that the league hopes will bring long-term financial growth.

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Sources: NBA would make play-in tournament permanent