NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday that the league is likely to remove division records from playoff seeding, and the change probably will be finalized before the 2015-16 season.
As currently constituted, the division winners are guaranteed a top-four seed in the first round. The change would mean that the qualifying teams in each conference would simply be seeded one through eight according to their records.
“It wasn’t voted on yet,” Silver said following the NBA Board of Governor’s meetings in Las Vegas, “because we wanted all the owners to have an opportunity to go back and discuss that recommendation with their general managers and their coaches, and we’ll vote on it before the beginning of the season. It’s my expectation that that change will be adopted.”
Last season, the Blazers finished 51-31 and won the Northwest division. They had the sixth-best record in the Western Conference, but were the fourth seed in the conference playoffs.
Meanwhile, following the DeAndre Jordan saga, the free agency moratorium has been a topic of much discussion. Teams could agree to terms with free agents starting July 1, but were not permitted to actually sign contracts until July 8. In Jordan’s case, the moratorium allowed for the center to agree to a deal with the Mavericks, renege on the agreement and return to the Clippers.
According to Silver, the moratorium is likely to remain in the collective bargaining agreement, and Jordan did indeed act within his rights afforded by the agreement.
“I would say from a personal standpoint, it was not a great look,” Silver said. “There was a breakdown in the system to a certain extent. Teams come to rely on those assurances. … I’m not sure it’s [Jordan’s] proudest moment either, but, again, he was exercising a right that he appropriately has under the collective bargaining agreement.
“And what happens when teams can’t sign — especially the star players, and they’re building their rosters around them — it’s a holdup for a lot of other players in the league [to whom teams can’t make commitments],” the commissioner said.
Other topics of conversation at the Board of Governor’s meetings included the addition of a countdown clock to monitor the length of breaks between quarters and during timeouts so that they are consistent. The board also discussed possible manners of improving players’ on-court safety, such as adding a second escape lane in order to minimize player collisions with camera operators on the baselines.