NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a news conference during...

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during a news conference during the NBA basketball All-Star weekend Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. Credit: AP/Darron Cummings

Success in the NBA’s in-season tournament could factor into playoff tiebreakers as early as next season, the league told its teams in a memo Friday following meetings with the competition committee.

In the same briefing, the league said it has not ordered that fewer fouls be called in an effort to reduce scoring. Fouls, points and free-throw attempts per game have all dropped significantly since the All-Star break; entering Friday, scoring was down 3.5% and free-throw attempts were down by about 12.6% since pre-break numbers.

The tournament change being discussed — but not finalized yet — calls for “Round of NBA Cup Advancement” becoming the first playoff tiebreaker, according to the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.

Such a move would add more weight to the in-season tournament, which will be called the NBA Cup starting with next season. Every game in the tournament counts toward the regular-season standings, except for the championship game. The Los Angeles Lakers beat Indiana in the inaugural in-season tournament final in December, a game that doesn’t factor into either team’s record.

Another change on the table for the tournament would have overtime scoring not factor into point differential during group play — which could potentially affect tiebreakers. The league told teams it is considering a proposal to have the differential for overtime games calculated as zero, ensuring that no team could intentionally send a game to overtime with hopes of manipulating differentials.

Commissioner Adam Silver has said multiple times this season that he expected changes to be made after the inaugural tournament. Among those being bandied about: tweaking the schedule to avoid conflicts with the NFL on Monday and Thursday nights, which was the case in this year’s playoff schedule.

“No question, not ideal for lots of reasons,” Silver said late last year.

The league asked the competition committee for feedback on the proposed tournament changes.

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