The NBA Is Seriously Considering Adding A Play-In Tournament For The Playoffs
For the past week, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has spoken about the possibility of eliminating conferences and changing the way teams are seeded in the playoffs but apparently there have been more discussions behind the scenes between NBA execs to spruce up the playoff format.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the NBA is currently floating around the idea of adding a play-in tournament between last two seeds in each conference to earn a spot in the playoff similar to the wildcard play-in game in Major League Baseball.
there is also some behind-the-scenes momentum for the idea of a play-in tournament determining the last two seeds in each conference — to the point that two specific proposals are circulating at the highest levels within teams and the league office.
The play-in proposal that has generated the most discussion, according to several sources: two four-team tournaments featuring the seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th seeds in each conference. The seventh seed would host the eighth seed, with the winner of that single game nabbing the seventh spot, sources say. Meanwhile, the ninth seed would host the 10th seed, with the winner of that game facing the loser of the 7-versus-8 matchup for the final playoff spot.
Of course any rule change to the playoff format would have to be approved by a majority of teams in the league and by the players union which means it could be awhile until the changes would implemented.
It is not coming next season, and it would be a shock if the NBA adopted it in time for 2020 or even 2021. It may never happen. Any such change would need approval from the competition committee, and then from a supermajority of 23 NBA teams. That process has not even started.
A play-in would require collective bargaining with the players’ union
While the idea seems interesting on paper, I’m not sure anyone would care about an extra play-in between two mediocre teams who will probably get swept in the first round by the Warriors or whichever powerhouse team is the #1 seed.