NBA Schedule

NBA Won’t Vote On Schedule Changes At Board Of Governors Meeting

The NBA has informed its 30 teams that it will continue to explore possible changes to the league’s schedule but no longer plans to hold a vote on those changes at this spring’s Board of Governors meeting, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Last month, the NBA sent a memo to its teams detailing proposed schedule changes for the 2021/22 season, including an in-season tournament, a postseason play-in tournament for the seventh and eighth seeds in each conference, and the reseeding of the conference finalists — the league was later said to be reconsidering its idea to reseed the final four teams.

The initial plan was to fine-tune those proposals in the hopes of taking a formal vote at April’s Board of Governors meeting. Instead, it appears the NBA will be a little more patient with the process. That doesn’t mean the proposed tournaments won’t eventually happen though, perhaps still even as early as the 2021/22 season. An April vote would have given teams more time to prepare, but Wojnarowski tweets that the league hasn’t ruled out implementing schedule changes for ’21/22.

According to Wojnarowski (via Twitter), the NBA has been working closely with teams, the players’ union, and stakeholders and wants to continue studying how its ideas could be best implemented and monetized over the long run.

Details like broadcasting rights, arena scheduling, incentives, and timing all need to be worked out, making it a complicated process, as Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer points out (via Twitter). The league hopes to give owners an update at April’s meeting, Woj adds.

In order to institute the proposed schedule changes, the NBA would need 23 of 30 teams to vote in favor of them. Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) notes that commissioner Adam Silver isn’t expected to move forward with a formal vote unless he’s confident he has enough support to approve the changes.

NBA Reconsidering Proposal To Reseed Conference Finalists

The NBA is seriously reconsidering the idea of reseeding the final four playoff teams as part of its proposed schedule changes for the 2021/22 season and beyond, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The league hopes to implement multiple changes for ’21/22 and is expected to put forth a formal proposal for a vote at this April’s Board of Governors meetings.

Reseeding the four conference finalists (based on their regular season records) in the hopes that the NBA’s two best teams would have a chance to meet in the Finals had been among the proposed changes, along with an in-season tournament and a play-in tournament for the seventh and eighth seeds. However, the reseeding idea appears increasingly unlikely to be included for the final vote, per Wojnarowski.

[RELATED: NBA Sends Proposal For Tournament, Schedule Changes To Teams]

As Woj explains, the NBA’s coastal teams have opposed the reseeding concept for the most part, with those franchises – and others – expressing concerns about increased travel as a result of pitting Eastern and Western teams against one another prior to the NBA Finals. Sources tell ESPN that the league’s research has shown the proposed change could lead to a travel increase of 60% and result in one out of every four series being played across three time zones.

Besides the travel concerns, many league executives would like to maintain the East/West structure in the Conference Finals, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Reseeding the conference finalists could also be counter-productive if the NBA’s top title contenders didn’t hold the best regular season records due to injuries, load management, or other factors.

While the NBA appears to be souring on the idea of reseeding its final four teams, there’s no indication that the league won’t still move forward with its proposals for an in-season tournament and postseason play-in tournament.

NBA Still Mulling Draft Pick Prize For Proposed Tournament

As we relayed last week, the NBA sent a proposal to all 30 teams outlining possible changes to the league’s schedule for the 2021/22 season. One of those changes would be an in-season tournament which would reward the winning team with $1MM-per-player bonuses.

While that cash prize may motivate players to invest in the proposed tournament, it likely wouldn’t increase fans’ interest in the event. So, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links), the league continues to discuss possible incentives for fans and teams. One idea still being considered, per Stein, is extra draft pick compensation – perhaps in the form of a first-round pick – for the winning team.

Stein first reported earlier this month that the NBA was mulling the possibility of a draft-related reward for the winner of the proposed in-season tournament, so today’s report confirms that the idea may be gaining momentum. At the very least, it remains on the table.

According to Stein, further details on the NBA’s proposed schedule changes are expected to surface before the All-Star Game in February. The league will look to firm up a proposal that teams can vote on at the NBA’s Board of Governors meetings in April.

Besides the in-season tournament, the NBA has also proposed a play-in tournament for the seventh and eighth playoff seeds in each conference, and a re-seeding of the final four teams for the Conference Finals.

In order for the changes to be approved, at least 23 of 30 teams would have to vote in favor of them, and it remains to be seen whether that’s on track to happen. According to Stein, there been “strong concern” registered against the idea of re-seeding the final four teams. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also took to Twitter today to criticize the NBA’s proposed rewards for the in-season tournament winner.

“So dumb,” Cuban tweeted in response to Stein’s report on a draft-pick prize. “What will teams that are in the tax going out do, tank the tournament because they don’t want the pick? Or teams trying to build cap room? Be forced to trade it? Draft and stash?

“And to create incremental financial incentives to play games just sends so many wrong messages,” Cuban added, referring to the proposed $1MM-per-player reward. “Free agency recruitment will change. ‘Hey, we can’t compete for a ring, but we go all out for the (tournament), so sign with us and you could make another $1MM.'”

It’s possible that some of the scheduling changes could be approved while others fall by the wayside, but the NBA appears committed for now to all aspects of its proposal, so we’ll see what tweaks the league makes in the coming months to get more teams, players, and fans on board.

NBA Sends Proposal For Tournament, Schedule Changes To Teams

6:53pm: The NBA has sent the proposed changes for the 2021/22 season to all teams, including a 78-game regular season, an in-season tournament, a play-in tournament for the No. 7 and 8 playoff spots, and reseeding the playoff semifinal teams based on regular-season record, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

A $1.5MM bonus would be given to the coaching staff of the in-season tournament champion, Charania adds. He also provides a few more details on how the proposed in-season tournament would work.

4:00 pm: As the NBA ponders ways to make an in-season tournament work, one idea being discussed is a payout of $1MM per player to the winning team of that tournament, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As Wojnarowski explains, the league is hopeful that such a significant financial incentive would motivate players to “treat a new tournament with a competitive fervor.”

Per Wojnarowski, the NBA is mulling the possibility of a tournament that would begin with pool play as part of the regular-season schedule. The six divisional winners – based on pool-play records – and the two teams with the next-best records in pool play would then advance to an eight-team, single-elimination tournament. The club that wins all three of its knockout-round matchups would be the tournament champion, and each of that club’s players would receive $1MM.

The idea comes with some potential complications. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (via Twitter), about half the NBA’s players earn less than $4MM and would likely be highly motivated by a $1MM prize, but it’s not clear whether stars making upwards of $30-40MM per season would fully buy in. According to Wojnarowski, there’s a belief that some players might prefer the five-day break – for teams that don’t qualify for the single-elimination tournament – rather than trying to compete for a winner-take-all financial prize.

Team owners, particularly in large markets, are also concerned about whether an in-season tournament would generate enough revenue to make up for potentially losing two regular-season home games, says Wojnarowski. If a tournament is introduced, most teams would likely only play 78 or 79 regular-season games.

The NBA’s Board of Governors appears to be more aligned on the concept of a postseason play-in tournament for the seventh and eighth seeds and the idea of reseeding the conference finals, Woj notes.

The league continues to work toward instituting scheduling changes for the 2021/22 season. In order for that goal to be achieved, the Board of Governors would have to approve them at their meeting in April, per ESPN. At least 23 of 30 teams would have to vote in favor of the changes, and the players’ union would need to be on board as well.

Potential In-Season Tournament Could Come With Draft Pick Prize?

The NBA and its stakeholders are discussing potential changes to the league’s schedule with one wrinkle being an in-season tournament. The event, which would be modeled after European soccer, would give all 30 teams a chance to win, but unlike the proposed postseason play-in tournament, it’s hard to envision every team putting its best foot forward without some sort of incentive.

One proposal designed to incentivize teams to do well in the tournament is to award the winner with an extra draft pick, Marc Stein of the New York Times hears (Twitter links). Any such plan would be subjected to a league vote and it would likely come in addition to offering bonus competition to players and coaches competing in the event.

No changes are expected to take place until the 2021/22 season. In addition to the pair of tournaments, other changes, such as reseeding of conference finalists and a reduction in the amount of regular-season games, have been proposed.

NBA In Talks To Alter Seeding, Schedule And Playoff Play-In

Serious discussions between the NBA, National Basketball Players Association and broadcast partners could see an altered league with changes to the league’s schedule, reseeding of four conference finalists, a postseason play-in and a 30-team in-season tournament, ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski report.

As the discussions progress, the hope is to bring a vote to the annual April meeting of the NBA’s Board of Governors which could include most, if not all, of the proposals, per ESPN’s report. The goal would be for these changes to take effect for the 2021/22 season, the NBA’s 75th anniversary.

For starters, the proposal would include a reduction in the schedule from 82 games to a minimum of 78 games, Lowe and Wojnarowski report. There would exist a remote possibility of teams possibly playing a maximum of 83 games given various tournament and play-in scenarios, sources told ESPN.

In regards to the in-season tournament, the league is looking at 30-team participation that begins with a divisional group stage of already scheduled regular-season contests.  Coming out of the tournament would be six divisional winners based on the best home and away records in the group stage, according the report. Teams with the next best two records advance to a single-elimination knockout round under the current proposal.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been a major proponent of the in-season tournament, modeling it after European soccer. Silver explained to the New York Times’ Marc Stein in late May that he was examining various scenarios to alter the league.

“It’s incumbent on me to constantly be looking at other organizations and seeing what it is we can do better and learn from them,” Silver told Stein. “In the case of European soccer, I think there is something we can learn from them.

“I also recognize I’m up against some of the traditionalists who say no one will care about that other competition, that other trophy, you create. And my response to that is, ‘Organizations have the ability to create new traditions.’ It won’t happen overnight.”

As far as the postseason play-in, Wojnarowski and Lowe write that two four-team tournaments would transpire with the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th seeds in each respective conference. The seventh would host the eighth seed with the victor taking seventh seed honors. The same would apply for the ninth and 10th seed, with the winner in each respective conference earning the final playoff spots.

While the baseline ideas are being discussed, other things that will need to be ironed out. How players and coaches are compensated for the changed schedule, how television partners would be impacted with changed schedules and more. However, there’s some traction to potentially change the landscape of the NBA for the 2021/22 campaign.

2019/20 NBA Schedules By Team

The schedule for the 2019/20 NBA regular season, officially unveiled by the league on Monday, will – for the fifth consecutive year – feature the fewest back-to-backs in league history. On average, teams will play on consecutive nights 12.4 times in ’19/20, down from 13.3 last season.

The NBA is also making a concerted effort to end its games earlier. The Lakers and Warriors, for instance, will each see their number of 10:30pm eastern time starts nearly cut in half, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Additionally, many of the NBA’s prime-time doubleheaders on TNT and ESPN will now tip off at 7:00/9:30pm ET or 7:30/10:00pm ET, rather than 8:00/10:30pm ET.

The NBA also confirmed several previously-reported marquee matchups, including its five-game Christmas Day slate and an opening night doubleheader of Pelicans at Raptors and Lakers at Clippers. ESPN has a round-up of several more must-see games on next season’s schedule.

Listed below are links to the full 2019/20 season schedules for each NBA team, organized by conference and division:


Atlantic Division

Central Division

Southeast Division


Northwest Division

Pacific Division

Southwest Division

And-Ones: Schedule, 2020 Free Agency, Draft

The NBA revealed today that it will announce its full regular season schedule – and national television schedule – for the 2019/20 season on Monday, August 12 at 3:00pm eastern time.

The dates for a handful of notable games have already been reported. We relayed the Christmas Day matchups last week, and Shams Charania of The Athletic notes (via Twitter) that the Raptors are expected to receive their championship rings on opening night (October 22) when they host the Pelicans and No. 1 pick Zion Williamson.

Charania also provides the dates for a handful of notable star/team reunions, including Anthony Davis and the Lakers visiting New Orleans and Kyrie Irving and the Nets traveling to Boston — both of those games will happen on November 27.

As we wait to find out what the rest of the 2019/20 schedule will look like, here are a few more items from around the basketball world:

  • After a wildly entertaining 2019 free agent period, the odds are slim that we’ll see the same level of fireworks involving star players in 2020. In an Insider-only article for, Bobby Marks previews 2020’s free agent period, noting that outside of Anthony Davis and the top restricted free agents – all of whom are likely to stick with their current teams – next year’s best free agents will be vets like Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Andre Drummond.
  • The NBA is ramping up its mental health program, as Sam Amick of The Athletic details. Sources tell Amick that the league issued a memo to all 30 teams on Wednesday to inform them of changes that must be made prior to the start of the 2019/20 season. Among those changes? All teams will be required to make at least one or two mental health professionals – and a licensed psychiatrist – available to players.
  • In an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump (video link), draft expert Jonathan Givony previewed this year’s rookie class and identified some of the top incoming college freshman. Givony also notes that several of the projected top players in the 2020 draft class will be playing in Europe or – like R.J. Hampton and LaMelo Ball – in Australia.

Schedule Pushed Back A Week Next Season

The 2019/20 NBA regular season will begin nearly a week later than this season, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer tweets.

Opening night will be October 22, compared to this season’s October 16 start. This also means the playoffs will begin a week later, O’Connor continues.

The league wanted to make the change to prevent opening night from occurring too early in the calendar year moving forward. The FIBA World Cup also factored into the decision, O’Connor adds.

The NBA has stretched out the regular season in order to accommodate concerns about excessive back-to-backs. This year’s schedule features the fewest back-to-backs in league history and that shouldn’t change next season despite the later starting date. On average, teams will play on consecutive nights 13.3 times this season, with no club playing more than 15 back-to-backs. The league, in cooperation with the Players’ Association, has eliminated instances of teams playing four games in five nights or eight games in 12 nights.

New NBA Schedule Features Fewest Ever Back-To-Backs

The schedule for the 2018/19 NBA regular season, officially unveiled by the league on Friday, will feature the fewest back-to-backs in league history. On average, teams will play on consecutive nights 13.3 times in ’18/19, with no club playing more than 15 back-to-backs.

Under the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBA and players’ union, the league has been scheduling an earlier opening night, extending the regular season in order to allow players more rest in between games. This season’s schedule, which begins on October 16, will feature no instances of a team playing four games in five nights or eight games in 12 nights.

Some of the notable games include LeBron James‘ return to Cleveland on November 21, Kawhi Leonard‘s first game in San Antonio with the Raptors on January 3  and Gordon Hayward‘s first game in Utah as a member of the Celtics on November 9,

Listed below are links to the full 2018/19 season schedules for each NBA team, organized by conference and division:


Atlantic Division

Central Division

Southeast Division


Northwest Division

Pacific Division

Southwest Division