Sources told ESPN that the NBA Board of Referees is expected to approve the tournament on Tuesday as a regular part of future league seasons.
The NBA was voting to include play on an annual basis for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons, but support is in place ahead of Tuesday’s summer league owners’ meetings to turn the competition into an event.
The sources added that the board of directors is also expected to agree to a rule penalizing “committing a foul” in counter-attacks with a free kick and possession of the ball for the offense.
Tournament Play has grown in popularity and convenience among organizations and fans in the past couple of years. One of the league’s early hopes, with teams ranked seventh through tenth in both conferences vying for seventh and eighth places, was to reduce the deterioration between teams and retain more franchises and more fans. Stick to longer in the regular season.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) believes that this rule, and flattening the lottery odds for teams with worse records, motivated fewer teams to actively race to the bottom floor of the standings for better chances in higher draft picks.
Another change to the league’s regular season schedule, the in-season championship, is expected to be the biggest topic of discussion at Tuesday’s meeting, sources said. Commissioner Adam Silver and the league have discussed the tournament throughout the season and its impact on schedule and revenue on an ongoing basis with the players’ union.
Collective bargaining must be done with the Federation.
Talks focused on an eight-team singles exit tournament expected to conclude before Christmas. One proposal is to shorten the regular season from 82 to 78 games.
The two sides have discussed $1 million per player for the winning team, and the players will likely see more financial and competitive incentives before an agreement is reached on the format. The NBA was driven by anticipation of lucrative television and sponsorship revenue that the league hoped would generate long-term financial growth.