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Report: NBA Sends Teams Proposal for 2021-22 Sweeping Season Changes

The NBA has reportedly sent its teams a proposal listing possible changes for the 2021-22 season. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the proposal includes a 78-game regular season, an in-season tournament, play-in tournaments for the seventh and eighth playoff seeds and a re-seed of the final four playoff teams based on regular-season records. 

Earlier Friday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the in-season tournament could happen as soon as 2021-22, the league's 75th anniversary season.

The NBA needs the approval of two-thirds of the teams (23) and the NBPA to agree to the calendar changes. In order for the changes to be implemented in 2021-22, they need to be passed at the league's Board of Governor's meeting in April.

The sweeping changes to the NBA schedule could have a major impact on the league.

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As Sports Illustrated's legal analyst Michael McCann wrote in November, the league appears to be banking on the idea that some of the proposed changes are popular in other leagues. But the possible changes are not without complications. 

McCann noted that significant negotiations would be necessary, not only between the NBA and NBPA but also between the league and its broadcast partners and sponsors. Teams would also need to tweak their contractual understandings with sponsors, venues, food and beverage providers, and regional sports networks. The availability of arenas and other schedule-related conflicts would likely be revisited.

The CBA between the NBA and its players would also need to be modified or amended, according to McCann. 

The current CBA runs through the 2023-24 season, with a mutual opt-out clause after the 2022-23 season.