Recently it occurred to me how little I care about the NBA. The season is 2 months old and yet I haven’t watched 4 quarters of a single game this season. And the reason why is simple. None of these games matter. The Warriors and Cavs are 100% making the playoffs, over half the damn league does, and then they are 100% meeting in the Finals. They are just way superior to any other NBA team. I decided to fix this, and create a new hypothetical NBA that exists only in my head, but is way more interesting and has a regular season that matters, as making the playoffs is actually tough, and way more parity. So here’s my plan.

  1. Contraction

Thats right. We are getting rid of some of these teams. The NBA clearly doesn’t need 30 teams, seeing as 10 of them aren’t even trying to win in any given year. The problem is clear, the teams in the small markets have to rely on the draft and the draft only to add superstars to their roster. A big name free agent is only going to LA, NY, Miami, Chicago or a major market. Teams like the Thunder or the Magic can only hope to bottom out, draft superstars, and pray they deliver a title. And if they don’t deliver a title, they will just bolt to LA or San Francisco once the opportunity arises (See Howard, Dwight/O’Neal, Shaq and Durant, Kevin). So my NBA is putting teams in a major markets, that way every team can attract FA talent, and is going to be smaller, so every NBA team can have a “star”. In the modern NBA the best teams are the ones with the superstars. I don’t need a league full of the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets. Those are nice Eastern Conference Teams, but they have no shot vs. the Cavs. I want stars against stars. So without further ado here is my new NBA

Eastern Conference

  1. New York Knicks
  2. Brooklyn Nets
  3. Boston Celtics
  4. Toronto Raptors
  5. Philadelphia 76ers
  6. Washington (D.C) Wizards
  7. Atlanta Hawks
  8. Miami Heat
  9. Cleveland Cavaliers
  10. Indianapolis Pacers
  11. Chicago Bulls

Western Conference

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Los Angeles Clippers
  3. San Francisco (Golden State) Warriors
  4. Seattle SuperSonics
  5. Las Vegas Pelicans (Subject to Name Change)
  6. Phoenix Suns
  7. Denver Nuggets
  8. Houston Rockets
  9. San Antonio Spurs
  10. Dallas Mavericks
  11. Minnesotta Timberwolves

I am turning the New Orleans Pelicans into the Las Vegas Pelicans, as Las Vegas is just a way bigger New Orleans. It is ridiculous Las Vegas doesn’t have pro sports teams. Welcome the NBA to Vegas.

I am also turning the Portland Trail Blazers into the Seattle SuperSonics. Seattle has a richer basketball history, more powerful corporations, the Seahawks/Mariners, and is bigger. Seattle is the home of Pacific Northwest sports, not Portland. Sorry Blazers.

I am eliminating the following 8 teams

  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Utah Jazz
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Orlando Magic
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Detroit Pistons

These 8 cities, along with Portland, New Orleans, St. Louis and Louisville are getting a NBA D-League Team. This 12 team league is our minors, and none of these teams will be affiliated. Just a minor leagues where players play and any NBA team can purchase their contract and bring them up at any time.

So my new NBA is 22 teams. 11 in each conference. You play everyone in your conference 6 times, (home and away), and everyone in the other conference 2 times (home and away). 80 games. We shaved off 2 games and made the post-season shorter. Hopefully that helps the trend of sitting stars.

Top 4 in each conference advance to the playoffs (16 of 30 teams making the current playoffs is so absurd). Then our playoffs are just 3 rounds, conference semi’s, conference finals and NBA finals. Conference Semi’s are 5 games, and the other two rounds are 7 games.

Season Starts much later and ends at the end of June, a little later than it currently does. The playoffs will be 2-3 weeks shorter so we make up some ground there. Season will start Christmas Day and run through mid-late May. First round starts the final week of May, and June is entirely playoff basketball. The NBA will now own June.

So there’s my brand new NBA after contraction

2. Re-Draft

I bounced 8 franchises, and their players aren’t just going to leave the NBA. So we gotta re-draft. So we take the remaining 22 teams and rank them by record, and we let them draft the pool of players. The draft order would be…

  1. Brooklyn Nets
  2. Philadelphia 76ers
  3. Miami Heat
  4. Minnesotta Timberwolves
  5. Dallas Mavericks
  6. Phoenix Suns
  7. Los Angeles Lakers
  8. Las Vegas Pelicans
  9. Denver Nuggets
  10. Seattle SuperSonics
  11. New York Knicks
  12. Washington Wizards
  13. Chicago Bulls
  14. Indiana Pacers
  15. Atlanta Hawks
  16. Boston Celtics
  17. LA Clippers
  18. Toronto Raptors
  19. Houston Rockets
  20. Cleveland Cavaliers
  21. San Antonio Spurs
  22. Golden State Warriors

The Draft Pool: The Players from the bounced teams. Lets Draft!

  1. Brooklyn Nets
    1. Russell Westbrook
  2. Philadelphia 76ers
    1. Giannis Antetokounmpo
  3. Miami Heat
    1. Demarcus Cousins
  4. Minnesotta Timberwolves
    1. Mike Conley
  5. Dallas Mavericks
    1. Andre Drummond
  6. Phoenix Suns
    1. Gordon Hayward
  7. Los Angeles Lakers
    1. Marc Gasol
  8. Las Vegas Pelicans
    1. Jabari Parker
  9. Denver Nuggets
    1. Steven Adams
  10. Seattle SuperSonics
    1. Rudy Gobert
  11. New York Knicks
    1. Kemba Walker
  12. Washington Wizards
    1. Serge Ibaka
  13. Chicago Bulls
    1. Enes Kanter
  14. Indiana Pacers
    1. Aaron Gordon
  15. Atlanta Hawks
    1. Victor Oladipo
  16. Boston Celtics
    1. Nicolas Batum
  17. LA Clippers
    1. Khris Middelton
  18. Toronto Raptors
    1. Chandler Parsons
  19. Houston Rockets
    1. Rodney Hood
  20. Cleveland Cavaliers
    1. Rudy Gay
  21. San Antonio Spurs
    1. Reggie Jackson
  22. Golden State Warriors
    1. Derrick Favors

In reality this draft would go on for at least 2-3 rounds, and teams like the Nets might even make 5-6 picks, but I’m not really even considering fit and contracts making these picks, and this isn’t a novel, so 1 round is enough to portray my point.

The talent influx to each team is awesome. Tell me this NBA isn’t more fun than the current NBA, with teams like the Charlotte Hornets in serious contention for a top 4 Eastern Conference Spot. I mean the Nets, 76ers and Heat all add bonafide superstars. The T’Wolves add a stud PG to their great young core. Anthony Davis finally gets a running mate in Jabari Parker. The Spurs get the young, athletic PG they badly need. The Warriors get a big man who can rebound. The quality of every team is just so much better. The Nets as currently constructed are seriously 5 years from even sniffing the playoffs. But give them Russell Westbrook? And they play in Brooklyn? Now they are 1 big FA signing away. Contraction makes this all possible.

So yeah, this is the new NBA. Its season is starting now in my head. Ill let you know how the year goes.

 

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