The 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend is a time for players to let it hang out and not think about wins and losses for the better part of a week. But for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, All-Star Weekend is as busy as ever, as it looks like Silver has some serious, if subtle plans for the NBA going forward.
Silver made his annual “state of the NBA” address Saturday, and according to the commissioner, there may be some changes made to certain aspects of the league, including its schedule, its playoff format, and its draft lottery system. “Going into my second year, I recognize it’s time to take action on a lot of the things that we’ve been discussing extensively,” said Silver, adding that the NBA “can improve” with the changes he is planning to make.
The most significant change Silver proposed is a “drastic reduction” in the number of four-in-five schedules, or teams playing four games in the span of five nights. He also hopes to see less back-to-back games in 2015-16, and in terms of money, Silver also proposed “additional television windows” and less hectic Thursday and Sunday night schedules. In addition, Silver suggested potentially shortening the preseason, as “preseason games (aren’t) as valuable as they once were” in terms of player conditioning.
As for the draft lottery, the NBA’s current system has the worst team having a 25 percent chance of getting the top draft pick, and no chance of falling anywhere below the fourth pick. Silver proposed reopening the possibility of the worst team having a mere 12 percent chance of a top overall selection, and a lowest possible draft ranking of seventh overall; this plan was previously rejected by owners. “I don’t think the system isn’t as broken as some may suggest, but it’s going to require a tweak,” hinted Silver, who wants a scenario where teams “try to field the best possible team on the floor.”
Finally, Silver proposed a playoff system that is more equal for all 30 NBA teams, and while there were no specific plans mentioned, Sports Illustrated wrote that the NBA is mulling a scenario where, for example, winning teams like Oklahoma City and New Orleans (ninth and tenth respectively in the West), take part in the postseason due to their better records, rather than the East’s seventh and eighth-seeded teams at the moment, namely Charlotte and Miami.