On December 20, 2019, the NBA sent a proposal to teams suggesting that they reduced the 82 game season to just 78-games, along with implementing an in-season tournament for all teams. It also proposed that there will be a playoff reseeding process once the field is down to the four remaining teams.
Per NBA.com, the proposal is to have teams participate in an in-season tournament to determine the last two spots in each conference. The top-10 finishers from the east and the west will have a chance to compete in the playoffs. There will also be a 1 million per player incentive to participate in the tournament.
The league would like to install this format on a trial basis during the 2021-22 season with the plan to continue it, moving forward. The NBA’s board of governors is expected to vote for or against this proposal in April.
However, one of the NBA owners is already let it be known that he is not a fan of the incentives. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took to Twitter earlier this week to voice in opinion on the matter.
“So Dumb. What will teams that are in the tax going outdo, tank the tournament because they don’t want the pick? Or teams trying to build [the] cap room? Be forced to trade it? Draft and stash? Tweeted Cuban.
And to create incremental financial incentives to play games just sends so many wrong messages. Free agency recruitment will change. “Hey, we can’t compete for a ring, but we go all out for the TBT, so sign with us, and you could make another $1m.”
Or the [conversation] if the TBT winner doesn’t make the playoffs. This is like the MLB trying to add drama to the All-Star game by using it to assign home-field advantage. How did that work out? I can’t hate an in-season winner take all tournament enough. Hopefully, TBT has a patent.
James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, and Rick Carlisle Weighed-In on the Tournament
Last month, according to Sports Illustrated’s Michael Shapiro, was asked by reporters his position in terms of the proposal of an in-season tournament being implemented.
Harden replied, “Are we in college?”
Spurs guard Demar DeRozan is also not a fan of the tournament.
“It’s tough to ask me, I’m old school. In my opinion, I don’t like it, I have been in the league for 11 years. Maybe I would have a different opinion if I was a rookie or a second-year player, something like that, but for me, the game is what is for a reason. It has been that way since the beginning, and not too much has changed. I’m not a fan of it, DeRozan told me.
Dallas Mavericks’ head coach Rick Carlisle also weighed-in on the proposed tournament.
“I don’t have many details and don’t know many details on it. I know that when I was on the competition committee for five or six years straight up until two years ago when my term ended. It was a topic of discussion, and it has been successful internationally, and it’s not like this is a new thing popping out of nowhere. A lot of thought has gone into this, so whatever happens, it will be done with a lot of thought and consideration, and we will see, said Carlisle.