NBA and players union discuss shortening season, changes to playoff seedings

Chase Center during a game between the Golden State Warriors' season opener against he Clippers on Oct. 24.
The Golden State Warriors play the Clippers in the season opener on Oct. 24 at Chase Center.
(Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

The NBA and the NBPA, the union representing the league’s players, are in discussions about changes to the NBA schedule that could shorten the regular season.

According to a person familiar with the negotiations, the parties are discussing changes that would include an in-season tournament — an idea favored for years by commissioner Adam Silver — and changes to the postseason, including play-in games and reseeding.

Changes could happen as soon as the 2021-22 season.

Teams could play as few as 78 games during the regular season. The in-season tournament could be similar to events that are prevalent in European soccer.


The playoff changes would feature a mini-tournament between teams seeded Nos. 7-10 for the final two spots. The league and players union is also discussing reseeding the four conference finalists, something that already happens in the WNBA.

Talks are progressing with the hopes that proposals can be voted on in April at the league’s board of governors meetings.

“It would need to be negotiated with the players association,” Silver said earlier this year. “I’ve had very general discussions with [union executive director] Michele Roberts about the notion that these are the kinds of things we’re looking at. I think she, of course, is supportive of looking at any ideas we have to build the business over time.”