NBA Rumors: In-Season Tournament Could Begin as Soon as 2023-24 Season

Doric SamMay 17, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 06: A general view of the NBA logo during Game Three of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on May 6, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Heat 99-79. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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The NBA is reportedly discussing the possibility of implementing an in-season tournament as soon as the 2023-24 season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the league is exploring concepts for "another competitive event" following the recent success of the play-in tournament, which is here to stay.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported in December that there was "renewed momentum" for the creation of an in-season tournament.

"Negotiations have centered on an in-season tournament that would begin with pool play as part of the regular-season schedule prior to teams with the best records advancing to an eight-team, single-elimination tournament that would culminate prior to Christmas, sources said," Wojnarowski wrote, adding that it would include a proposal to shorten the regular season from 82 to 78 games.

In February, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said a new in-season tournament was on the horizon, but he noted that changes wouldn't be ready to put in place for next season.

"I think we were moving closer to it,” Silver said. “But I feel we've had productive conversations with the Players Association, whose approval, of course, would be required to change the format. And my sense is there's a fair amount of interest."

The purpose of an in-season tournament would be to break away from the monotony of the 82-game regular season. Silver said he believes it would add excitement not only for the fans, but for the players as well.

"There's tournaments [in other sports] along the way where players, I'm sure feel an extra boost of competitiveness around winning a particular trophy," Silver said. "And that's what we're looking at. It's complicated."

The NBA could look to borrow an idea from the WNBA, which features the Commissioner's Cup. Ten matchups during the season count toward the Commissioner's Cup standings, and the leaders in each conference play in the Commissioner's Cup Championship Game. The winner earns a lucrative prize pool.