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New NBA commissioner Adam Silver open to playoff, draft changes

Adam Silver (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Adam Silver also discussed the league's drug policy and age limit. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Adam Silver is only one month into his tenure as NBA commissioner, but he's not averse to shaking things up in his league.

The 51-year-old said he floated the idea of play-in games for the last postseason spots before he became commissioner, and he received some support from owners.

"By having a seven-game series, you reduce the randomness of the outcome," Silver told Malcolm Gladwell on Saturday at the annual Sloan Conference on sports analytics at M.I.T., according to Dan Feldman of TrueHoop. "I think what's so exciting about college basketball — and I'm a huge college basketball fan — is the single-elimination tournament, the NCAA tournament. There, statistically, you're gonna have a lot more upsets. So, I think for us, well, I have mixed views.

"In case of certain teams where star players were injured for a portion of the season or the team didn't jell until later in the season, that team can become competitive. Right? I like that idea."

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Silver also spoke about reforming the draft, including the potential for a wheel system for determining picks. Such a system would rotate each team into each of the 30 draft slots over a 30-year period, including a top-6 pick every five years. Teams would be slotted into their spots every year regardless of their records.

"I thought, 'Wow, that solves our problems,'" Silver said when he first heard about the system.
But small-market teams complained that potential draft picks might wait to go pro until they can join the NBA's marquee teams, Silver said.

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