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Silver On Draft, Playoffs, Age Minimum

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently spoke at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and he might be open to bringing about some innovative alterations to the game, writes Royce Young of Silver addressed his willingness to implement significant changes, including switching up the NBA playoff format and changing the draft if some of the complications could be ironed out.

Some topics Silver touched on:

  • He admitted to being “fascinated” by the idea of a play-in tournament to the playoffs. Silver said, “By having a seven-game series, you reduce the randomness of the outcome. I think what’s so exciting about college basketball — and I’m a huge college basketball fan — is the single-elimination tournament, the NCAA tournament. There, statistically, you’re gonna have a lot more upsets. So, I think for us, well, I have mixed views. In the case of certain teams where star players were injured for a portion of the season or the team didn’t jell until later in the season, that team can become competitive. Right? I like that idea.
  • Silver also discussed the “wheel concept” for changing how the draft order is determined, and said he thinks it’s a good idea. One sticking point would be the possibility that college players could plan and dictate where they might be drafted.
  • He also stated that if he could change one thing about the league right now, it would be to raise the minimum draft age to 20. “Maybe the 20-year-old is a shorthand,” Silver said. “I would just say a better integration of AAU, youth, high school, college basketball and NBA basketball. This is the sport of the 21st century. We have enormous opportunity.”
  • The commissioner also talked about installing human growth hormone testing, as well as tougher drug policies.
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