Report: NBA, NBPA Discuss Rule for Minimum Games Played to Be Eligible for Awards

Adam WellsMarch 13, 2023

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 09: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks sits on the bench during the first half of a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Fiserv Forum on March 09, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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 Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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NBA players who want to be in the end-of-season awards race could be required to play in a minimum number of games.

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association are negotiating a rule that would require players to appear in a certain number of games to be eligible for awards as part of the new collective bargaining agreement.

The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov reported last month the two sides were discussing this potential rule change in their CBA talks.

One of the biggest reasons from the NBA's side to require a minimum number of games played for awards consideration is to potentially lessen the amount of load management teams do with superstars over the course of a season.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the topic of load management while speaking to reporters during All-Star weekend in February:

"The world that we used to have where it was just, 'Get out there and play through injuries,' for example, I don't think that's appropriate. Clearly, I mean, at the end of the day, these are human beings—many of you talk to and know well—who are often playing through enormous pain, who play through all kinds of aches and pains on a regular basis. The suggestion, I think, that these men, in the case in the NBA, somehow should just be out there more for its own sake, I don't buy into."

If this rule gets approved for the new collective bargaining agreement, it would almost certainly have a profound impact on players because there are financial incentives attached to award voting and making the All-NBA team in contracts.

Charania did note that though the league and union do agree on the concept of this idea, they have yet to settle on what the minimum number of games will be.

Per NBA.com, in order for players to qualify for the statistical leaderboard in most categories, they have to appear in at least 58 games during an 82-game regular season.

The NBA and NBPA originally had an opt-out date of Dec. 15 in the current collective bargaining agreement. Both sides have extended the deadline multiple times with the current opt-out date set for March 31.

If either party decides to exercise the opt-out clause, the current CBA will expire on June 30. There has been no indication at this point that either side is concerned about a potential lockout.