Play-in tournament returning to NBA in 2022 for at least one more season

Jul 27, 2021, 10:47 PM
In this Oct. 23, 2019, file photo, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a news conference at ...
In this Oct. 23, 2019, file photo, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a news conference at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The NBA’s play-in tournament is back for at least one more season.

As expected, the league’s board of governors gave approval Tuesday to the plan that would bring back the event in April 2022. The format will be the same as it was this past season: the teams that finish seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th in each conference will play to determine the No. 7 and No. 8 playoff seeds.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had said on multiple occasions in recent weeks that he expected the play-in to return. It was utilized this past season for the first time on an experimental basis.

In other board of governors news Tuesday:


The play-in tournament being back crystallizes the schedule for next season. It was already known that training camps would open Sept. 28 and the regular season on Oct. 19. With the play-in, that now means the regular season ends April 10, 2022.

The play-in tournament will be April 12-15, the playoffs will begin April 16, and the 2022 NBA Finals are scheduled to begin June 2 — back in their customary spot for the first time since 2019.

The latest possible date for Game 7 of the NBA Finals would be June 19, and the 2022 NBA Draft is slated for June 23.

Teams have been working under the assumption of that schedule for several weeks.


Two-way players will receive half of the minimum salary next season, or roughly $463,000. They will be permitted to be active for 50 games next season.

Teams can have 15 players active for each game next season, with no more than 17 under contract.


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Play-in tournament returning to NBA in 2022 for at least one more season