LAS VEGAS — The NBA Board of Governors is expected to approve the play-in tournament as part of future league seasons on Tuesday, sources told ESPN.
The NBA had voted on including play-in on an annual basis for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons, but support exists ahead of Tuesday’s ownership meetings at the summer league to turn the competition into a regular fixture on the league schedule, sources told ESPN.
The board of governors is also expected to adopt a rule that penalizes ‘foul taking’ on fast breaks with a free throw and possession of the ball for the offense, sources have said.
The play-in tournament has grown in popularity and comfort among organizations and fans over the past couple of years. One of the league’s original hopes with the seventh-thru 10th-place teams in both conferences competing for the seventh- and eighth-place finish in the playoffs had been to curb tanking between the teams and keep more franchises. and more fans engaged longer in the regular season.
The NBA believes that this rule and the flattening of lottery odds for teams with the worst records caused fewer teams to actively drive down the rankings in search of better odds with higher draft picks.
Another change to the league’s regular season schedule – the in-season tournament – is expected to be further discussed at Tuesday’s meeting, sources said. Commissioner Adam Silver and the league have discussed the in-season tournament and its impact on the schedule and revenue on an ongoing basis with the players’ association.
Play-in and in-season tournaments must be collectively negotiated with the union.
Talks have focused on an in-season tournament that would start with a game of pool as part of the regular season schedule before teams with the best records move to an eight-team, single-elimination tournament that is expected to peak before Christmas, sources told ESPN. . A proposal would also shorten the regular season from 82 to 78 games, sources said.
The parties had discussed a $1 million purse per player for the winning team, and players would likely see more financial and competitive incentives before an agreement on the format could be reached, sources said. . The NBA was driven by the possibility of lucrative television and sponsorship revenue that the league believed would bring long-term financial growth.