Both the NBA and the NBPA acknowledged during their recent Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations that players missing time due to load management is an issue for the league, according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN, who hears that it was a topic of much discussion during those negotiations. However, as Holmes details in an extensive Insider-only feature, neither side could come up with a silver bullet to solve the problem, which many view as “unfixable.”
As Holmes outlines, there are plenty of team officials who have advocated for a reduction of the NBA’s 82-game regular season schedule, which would perhaps be the most logical fix. Even having teams play just 72 games instead of 82 would allow the league to eliminate many of the back-to-back sets that often lead to players sitting out on either the first or second night. However, cutting back the 82-game schedule is widely viewed as a non-starter, given the lost revenue it would create.
Within his story on load management, Holmes also provides some new details on the 65-game minimum that the new CBA is implementing for players to qualify for postseason awards.
According to Holmes, players would have to log at least 20 minutes in at least 63 of those games for them to count toward the minimum. Sources tell ESPN that players would be permitted to play between 15-20 minutes in two games and still have them count toward the minimum of 65. These may be the “conditions” that Adrian Wojnarowski alluded to last weekend in his first report on the new CBA.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Veteran guard Chris Chiozza has signed with Spanish team UCAM Murcia, according to an announcement from the club. Chiozza, who has appeared in 91 total NBA games for four teams since 2019, spent most of 2022/23 with the Long Island Nets in the G League. His new contract in Spain is a rest-of-season deal.
- Former NBA lottery pick Shabazz Muhammad has joined the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, writes Dario Skerletic of Sportando, passing along a report from Chinese outlet CGTN Sports Scene (Twitter link). Muhammad signed a G League contract earlier this season as he attempted to make his way back to the NBA — he has since inked deals to play in Lebanon and now China.
- The NBA is hoping that its G League team in Mexico City is a first step toward opening up a pathway for more Latin American players to make it to the NBA, according to Ricardo Torres of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.