Report: NBA’s midseason tournament could include extra draft pick, bonus compensation for players and coaches
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been enthusiastically pushing a potential midseason tournament in ways that will mirror EuroLeague play.
To incentivize teams to take part in the competition, the league is discussing making an extra first-round draft pick available to the winner as potential compensation, along with bonus pay for players and coaches who participate:
Any such measure would have to be ratified by league vote, but the league’s search is on for ways — on top of bonus compensation for players and coaches who do well in the tournament — to make teams eager to participate. A first-round pick would certainly help
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) December 2, 2019
In Europe, the sale of tickets is enough to incentivize a team to take part, while players and coaches get paid their usual per-game salary to take part in games, plus a bonus for winning them.
That in itself makes it complicated for the NBA, considering NBA teams are competing between themselves and not against teams from other countries (besides the Toronto Raptors) as the EuroLeague does.
After scratching the possibility of playing it in December, January, or February, Silver moved the proposed slate to November, to keep from competing with the Christmas matchups, the NFL Playoffs, and the NBA’s own All-Star Game festivities, along with players’ own rest time.
Silver’s proposal could work, but there are a lot of kinks to fix with the infrastructure of this tournament, including timing, compensation, and the proper value of having it as part of the regular-season schedule. Traditionalists will argue that it could change the eons-long history of an 82-game season, while forward-thinking analysts debate the effect of load/injury management with further stakes on the line.
This proposal is still ways away from getting approved, let alone happening during an NBA season, as Silver hopes the tentative extra draft pick and compensation will make everyone involved eager to take part in this idea.