And-Ones: Conference Disparity, Summer League

For nearly two decades the Western Conference has been regarded as superior to the Eastern Conference and that hasn’t changed this offseason with players like Paul George and Jimmy Butler migrating to the left side of the map.

At what point, however, should the league take action to at least restore a semblance of fairness, if not balance? An excerpt from the latest Zach Lowe feature on ESPN details a few ideas that teams have had over the course of the last few seasons to address the issue.

Suns owner Robert Sarver has suggested that the league seed playoff teams 1-16, rather than 1-8 in each conference. Mavs owner Mark Cuban even went so far as to pitch a temporary realignment plan.

While no changes appear imminent, the concerns don’t seem to be going away. A concern of Cuban’s centers around the fact that the teams in the Western Conference already occupy smaller markets and can’t afford to field anything less than competitive rosters if they want to succeed as a business.

Some Eastern Conference teams in big markets, like Brooklyn, New York and Philadelphia, on the other hand, can get away with years of sub-optimal performance knowing that the end goal, a rebuild, will be ultimately worth it.

There’s more from the NBA world:

  • The revitilization of a beloved LakersCeltics rivalry has propelled summer league basketball to new heights. Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN writes that Saturday’s session of the Las Vegas Summer League was sold out by noon on Friday. This marks the first time in 14 years that an entire day session of summer league basketball has sold out of tickets in advance.
  • Former Spurs guard Nicolas Laprovittola has left his EuroLeague team to sign with Zenit St. Petersburg, international basketball reporter David Pick tweets.
  • As the NBA offseason progresses, a succession of relevant contract deadlines will soon pass, dates that represent full or partial guarantees for players. By remaining with the Heat through today, for example, Wayne Ellington‘s 2017/18 contract will become officially guaranteed. To track all of these big days, follow along with our NBA Salary Guarantee Dates tracker.
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