NBA

NBA closing in on agreement to set games-played threshold for MVP and other awards, per report

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The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are close to an agreement that would create a minimum games played requirement for regular season awards such as MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, according to Shams Charania. But while both sides are in agreement about the concept, they have not yet determined an actual figure for the number of games. For what it’s worth, there is already a rule in place that players must appear in at least 58 games to be eligible for statistical honors such as the scoring title.Β 

It seems likely that the league would push for a higher threshold for awards, though that remains to be seen.Β 

Such a rule would add at least one concrete guideline to a voting process that can be, at least for MVP, toxic in part because of its abstract nature; everyone has a different interpretation of what that honor means. Although, it is worth noting that in the modern era there has been a de facto requirement from voters. Since the league moved to an 82-game schedule in 1968, Bill Walton in 1978 is the only player to win MVP without playing at least 70 games (excluding shortened seasons).Β 

Late in February a report from The Athletic indicated that the NBA and NBPA had held productive discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement, and were hopeful of finalizing a deal in the near future. Load management and star player availability has been and will continue to be a central issue in those talks. The two sides recently extended their mutual opt-out deadline for the current CBA, which runs through the 2023-24 season, until March 31.Β 

While everyone understands why teams load manage players, there’s also a sense that it cheapens the regular season product. Trying to find the balance between player health and having competitive games every night is a difficult challenge, especially when shortening the season is likely off the table. Introducing a minimum games played requirement for major awards will likely keep stars on the floor for more games, though it will be interesting to see if they add a minutes threshold as well to prevent players from checking in for the first few minutes before sitting the rest of the night.Β 

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Publish Date:2023-03-13 23:51:57

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