The NBA is always looking to evolve as a league and as an organization. The NBA is considering radical changes to the current regular season and postseason setups in order to help increase fan interest.
One possible change is reducing the total games in the season to 78. Another would be reseeding the four conference finalists by their regular-season record. This would help ensure the best teams make it to the finals. The most drastic change would be adding a mid-season tournament akin to European soccer. They would do a 30-team tournament that would start with regular games representing the initial rounds. Then, they would move forward to single-game elimination rounds. Players and coaches would be compensated for winning.
Adam Silver has been a fan of adding a mid-season tournament for a number of years. Back in May, he commented on the idea: “It’s incumbent on me to constantly be looking at other organizations and seeing what it is we can do better and learn from them. In the case of European soccer, I think there is something we can learn from them. The most-watched league in the world is only 27 years old. So the idea that the NBA can’t create new traditions over time makes no sense to me.”
The NBA is already having a tough time with TV ratings down and star players sitting out games due to load management. The hope is that an in-season tournament could help generate more interest in regular-season games. This tournament would include games on the regular-season schedule and run after Thanksgiving. The changes could begin for the 2021-2022 season. That season happens to be the NBA 75th anniversary season.