In an effort to discourage load management, the NBA may begin requiring players to appear in a minimum number of regular-season games to become eligible for major awards, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Sources tell Charania that the proposal is being considered as the league and its union try to finalize a new collective bargaining agreement before the March 31 deadline for either side to opt out of the existing deal. That deadline has been extended twice already, but both sides are reportedly committed to reaching a new CBA by the end of the month.
Charania states that the minimum-game requirement was discussed during a Competition Committee meeting Friday, as both the league and the players search for incentives to prevent stars from sitting out so often.
Sources with knowledge of both sides of negotiations tell Charania that the figure for the minimum number of games still has to be worked out, but the owners and the union are in agreement on the concept. He notes that the NBA already has a precedent by requiring players to appear in at least 58 games to qualify for the scoring title.
Friday’s meeting, which was led by commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio, was described as “productive” by Charania’s sources. He states that the union suggested having talks about increased player availability, and the league was happy to address the issue.
Charania adds that speakers at Friday’s meeting included NPBA president CJ McCollum and former union leader Chris Paul, who both said load management is often dictated by teams that want to keep players fresh and manage their schedules. Coaches and executives who took part in the meeting didn’t dispute that point, according to Charania, but both sides agreed that injuries to high-profile players, especially over the last three seasons, have contributed to the load management philosophy.