The NBA is considering significant changes in the near future and is currently having a serious conversation with the NBPA. This conversation is also made with the broadcast partners because the changes will dramatically change the league calendar.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, the regular season would have a maximum of 78 games while reseeding the conference finals and adding an in-season tournament.
Some of the most significant changes that are n the making are the following:
- A reseeding of the four conference finalists based on the regular-season record, which would potentially put the best two teams against each other in the Finals, regardless of conference.
- A shortening of the regular season from 82 games to a minimum of 78 games.
- An in-season tournament with 30-team participation that begins with a divisional group stage of scheduled regular season games. In this tournament, six divisional winners -- based on home and away records in the group stage -- and teams with the next two best records would advance to a single-elimination knockout round, per ESPN. Those teams could each potentially compete in the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. This tournament could take place post-Thanksgiving, and proposals exist that would compensate players and coaches for advancing in and winning the tournament.
- A postseason play-in which would consist of two four-team tournaments featuring the seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th seeds in each conference. In this situation, the seventh seed in each conference would host the eighth seed, with the winner of that single game earning the seventh spot. The ninth seed would host the 10th seed, with the winner of that game facing the loser of the 7-versus-8 match-up for the final playoff spot.
Adam Silver is the one who initiated these changes and according to some sources, is having this conversation with the NBPA executive director Michele Roberts. What is crucial to understand is that these changes can't be implemented without approval from the NBPA, so these negotiations must go well. If they make an agreement, the changes could start already in the 2021/22 season.