The NBA made some subtle changes to its rulebook on Wednesday that should help speed up the end of games and make moves at the trade deadline go smoother.
The NBA trade deadline has been moved to 10 days before the All-Star Game. That should prevent the confusion we saw this past February when DeMarcus Cousins was traded from the Kings to the Pelicans during the All-Star break. His whole weekend was a mess between all the questions about trade rumors to actually getting traded while he was far away from home.
Here is how the league explained the decision in a press release:
The Board of Governors approved moving the trade deadline from the Thursday after the NBA All-Star Game to the Thursday 10 days before the All-Star Game. With the new placement of the trade deadline, teams will be able to settle their rosters before the All-Star break and avoid the disruptions that result from players joining new teams just as practices and games are beginning to resume following the All-Star break.
The pace of play stuff is a bit more complicated, but basically the league reduced the maximum timeouts for each game from 18 to 14. Each team will have seven and all timeouts will be 75 seconds long. Team timeouts previously could go as long as 90 seconds.
The league has done away with the under-nine-minute timeouts in the second and fourth quarters. Teams can have a maxiumum of four timeouts entering the fourth quarter and only two in overtime after previously having three. Teams will have two timeouts following either three-minute mark of the fourth quarter or the continuation of play after the second TV timeout, whichever comes later.
The last change should help speed up the last few minutes of games, which is always a big complaint of the NBA.