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NBA Commish Adam Silver open to changing playoff and draft systems

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver is “fascinated” with the idea of having a tournament for the final playoff spots and now has support from some owners according to ESPN on March 1.

"By having a seven-game series, you reduce the randomness of the outcome," Silver said in an interview with Malcolm Gladwell at the annual Sloan Conference on sports analytics. "I think what's so exciting about college basketball is the single-elimination tournament, the NCAA tournament...”

Silver also said that he would be open to a number of ideas.

He specifically mentioned the current NBA draft system needs some tweeking. Silver discussed Boston Celtics assistant general manager Michael Zarren idea of a wheel that assigns each team each of the 30 first-round picks during a 30-year cycle.

"I thought, 'Wow, that solves our problems,'" Silver said.

Silver also said the he wants a role in the developmental systems, including college basketball. He believes that some of the NCAA’s rules "just seem ridiculous," and wants to participate in crafting conditions for college basketball players.

"We should be looking out for them [college players]," Silver said. "I accept that."

One way Silver would like to unilaterally change the NBA draft is to raise the minimum age to 20.

Other changes the NBA is considering is testing for human growth hormones and stricter testing for recreational drugs, which the players want according to Silver.

Silver is also examining ways to optimize players' physical ability. He said that lengthening the All-Star break seems “pretty sensible”. In addition, Silver discussed steps to get players more sleep -- including reducing back-to-backs and length of travel.

Finally, Silver addressed the idea of expanding to Europe. He said with the amount of travel it is unlikely that a single team from Europe would ever be admitted to the Association but it is possible that one day there could be a European division.

As the new commissioner, Silver has the right and duty to look at changes that would better the league.

The Association should look at implementing HGT testing though HGT doesn’t seem to be a huge problem in the NBA. Recreational drug use is absolutely a problem for the NBA and something definitely needs to be done.

However, some of the areas that he is considering changing needs to be left alone.

The NBA draft needs some tweeking, but not exactly sure how the NBA should go about it but using Zarren's idea is definitely not the answer. Also,the NBA should not impose an age-limit and the league’s general managers need to do a better job evaluating player talent, not having their sole basis of selecting players on upside/potential, and use the NBA Developmental League more like Major League Baseball does.

The playoffs do not need to be changes especially if seriously considering a single elimination tournament for some of the final playoff spots. First and foremost, this single-game elimination tournament would diminish the regular season totally. The NBA regular season of 82-games is long enough for teams to overcome injuries to any of their star players.

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