OK, the NBA is proposing some changes that I don't really like. So, I've proposed some changes (that were actually proposed long before what the NBA is proposing) that I think would make the NBA better. Seattle is building a brand new arena at Seattle Center (except for the roof). And an NHL team is coming in 2021. I think a return of the SuperSonics is not far off from that. The NFL was the first league to go to 32 teams, and now that the NHL is planning to do so, I think the NBA and MLB will want to expand to keep up with the NHL and the NFL. The fact that the NHL reached 32 before the NBA and MLB did is spectacular, given it's the least popular of the big 4 sports leagues. The NBA won't just reestablish the Sonics, because it would create an odd number of teams and thus a scheduling nightmare. Of course I do want the revived Sonics to be the sole owner of the history of the original team (which would make the Thunder a 2008 expansion team). From a geographic standpoint, the best choice for NBA team #32 is Vancouver. Yes, I am aware that Vancouver already had a team and lost it. But things are different now. A potential Vancouver team could be a fan-owned enterprise, like the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. And where does geography come into this? Well, when you look at all the divisions except for the Northwest, all the teams in those divisions are in the divisions that are the best geographic fit. In contrast, only 3 Northwest Division teams - Denver, Portland, and Utah - have that division as their best fit. Seattle and Vancouver would join the Northwest Division. The two Central time teams in the Northwest, Minnesota and Oklahoma City, get shifted to divisions with closer teams. Minnesota would move to the Central Division (and in turn become the third Central time team in that division and the Eastern Conference; the Central Division is based entirely in the Midwest), while Oklahoma City moves into the Southwest Division, which would now have all of the Central time teams in the West. What do you do about a schedule format with unbalanced divisions? Well, the answer is simple, every team plays 2 games (home and road) against all the teams that aren't in their division. Central and Southwest teams would play a total of 52 non-division games, and everyone else 54. Central and Southwest teams would play 30 games in their division - 6 against each opponent. Everyone else would play 28 division games - 7 against each opponent. Right now I feel the NBA plays too few division games relative to the other major sports leagues. This also drives down travel costs, and teams in the Eastern five-team divisions would play a total of only 19 games outside the Eastern Time Zone - one road game against each of the 19 non-Eastern time teams. Now I want to make some changes to the playoffs. The removal of a top 4 seed guarantee for division winners (and even a playoff berth, though in practice all division winners generally play well enough to be in the playoffs) was a step in the right direction. However, there is still the possibility that a team that misses the playoffs in one conference has a better record than a team in the other conference that makes the playoffs. To address this inequity, the NBA would send its top 16 teams, regardless of conference, to the playoffs, but would still nominally divide its playoff teams by conference. However, if a conference has 9 or more teams in the top 16, those ranked below #8 in their conference are sent to the other conference's playoffs and seeded accordingly. This is not unlike the CFL's crossover rule. Under such a rule, for example in 2014 the Phoenix Suns would have qualified for the Eastern Conference playoffs, while the 38-44 Atlanta Hawks, despite finishing in the #8 spot in the East, would have missed the playoffs. With this new seeding format, all playoff berths are now referred to officially as "wild card teams". Whether or not a team clinches a "wild card" berth in their own conference depends on both being ranked in the top 16 of the league and top 8 of their conference. This is designed to make it harder for teams with losing records to make the playoffs. The last change to the playoffs that I would institute is reseeding after the Conference Quarterfinals. It was used for a long time in the NHL, and is still used in the NFL. I expect it to be used in MLB after expanding to 14 playoff teams, then 16 with a move to 8 4-team divisions following expansion. All the changes I want to make to the NBA playoffs I also want to make to the Stanley Cup playoffs, as part of my desire to realign the West into 3 divisions based on time zone restrictions (the East would still be 2 divisions), as well as adopting a similar schedule format in the NHL.