The NBA has plenty of ideas for getting people to care about an in-season tournament that so far only NBA commissioner Adam Silver seems excited about:
- Counting tournament games extra in the standings
- Giving an extra draft pick to the tournament winner
- Paying winning players more
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Story filed to ESPN: The NBA is discussing a $1 million per player purse for the winners of the proposed 30-team, in-season tournament. Reporting with more details on discussions for possible 2021-2022 league calendar change soon on site.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 20, 2019
That will motivate low-end players, some of whom could nearly double their income.
The stars who largely drive whether their teams win? That’s a tougher sell. Though they’d all welcome an extra $1 million, some might prefer resting rather than playing extra tournament games (teams not in the final eight-team knockout tournament will get five days off). Not chasing the money is also a way for them to look cool and powerful.
Maybe peer pressure from lower-paid teammates would push stars to compete. But this policy would be far from a silver bullet.
And where would this $13 million-$17 million (depending on roster size) come from? Would that lower players’ regular compensation?