According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA is exploring options for an in-season tournament beginning in 2022-23 — among other rules changes.
It’s unclear exactly how the NBA plans to implement an in-season tournament, but after recent innovations increased revenue and viewership — namely the NBA play-in tournament — there’s no reason for the league not to consider all possibilities.
“We’ll see how it goes this year, but I think it’s going to become a fixture in this league,” commissioner Adam Silver said in April.
Last year’s Lakers-Warriors play-in game drew 5.6 million viewers — the most for an ESPN NBA telecast since the 2019 Western Conference Finals, and the in-season tournament is likely another means to profit after the league lost roughly $695 million in revenue during COVID.
Among other rule changes expected to be discussed in July is getting rid of the “transition take foul” — when a team intentionally fouls a team on the fast break.
As the league tries to increase the pace of games, they’re reportedly considering the idea that a take foul would award the offensive team with one free throw and possession.
Otherwise, Silver joined ESPN on Tuesday and said he’d like to see teams and players “honor” contracts. Perhaps other rule changes will follow when the current CBA expires in 2024.