More teams being in the playoffs means more potential trades and mid-season acquisitions
Adding this play-in tournament as an extension to the playoffs this season not only offers the chance to two more teams to potentially fight their way into the playoffs, but it could make for more excitement during the regular season moving forward.
If the NBA keeps the play-in tournament format, which it seems like they will move forward, this could lead to more in-season moves made by teams. The NBA trade deadline is one of the most exciting days of the year in the NBA and this year, teams that may not have necessarily made a move in the past made moves because they still had a chance to reach the playoffs via the play-in tournament.
This is definitely a trend we could see moving forward due to the play-in tournament. With more teams having a chance to make the playoffs, more teams will be willing to make deals and sign free agents that can potentially help them make the playoffs.
Now, giving teams that normally would not be in the playoffs seems unreasonable and I understand that viewpoint of “keeping things how they have been,” but this new format offers more excitement, more fan engagement and more total viewership for the league, which is exactly what they are looking for from a business perspective.
The league took a big hit financially, like everyone else, when the pandemic hit, so adding these extra games and the play-in tournament format is a small way for them to try and get things back to the way they were league-wide pre-pandemic.