During the 2017 NBA Board of Governors meeting, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced changes to the upcoming season schedule and more.
Season begins earlier than usual
This is approximately a week and a half earlier than the typical NBA season, created to reduce back-to-back games. It will also create fewer preseason games. The main takeaway is to expect back-to-back and four-in-five sets less often than before.
Fewer timeouts per game, no more 20-second timeouts
Trade deadline earlier than usual
Silver explained why this will benefit teams next season (via Ben Golliver):
Deadline moved up so traded players can use break to get settled with new teams. Start of season bumped up so timing made sense.
Halftime Delay of Game
Here is the explanation from the league about halftime (via NBA.com):
Halftime will last 15 minutes for all games, beginning immediately upon expiration of the second period. A delay-of-game penalty will be issued if a team is not ready to start play at the expiration of the halftime clock.
This change comes with a new penalty for the upcoming season.
No conference realignment
This is the latest update about the lack of conference parity (via ESPN.com):
Despite more stars heading to the West and power imbalance, the NBA won’t make changes to the conferences or playoff structure. Silver said NBA examined the process two years ago and opted not to make changes. Silver admits NBA could revisit issue.
This seems to not be “at the top of the agenda” for Silver and the league office.
Expansion not on the horizon
If the NBA does decide to expand, Las Vegas is considered an unlikely destination.