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NBA announces play-in tournament is here to stay, along with a couple of rule changes

Two-way players, team active list are among issues that will be impacted

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Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic and Memphis’ Jonas Valanciunas reach for opening tip in play-in game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

In this Aug. 15, 2020, file photo, Portland Trail Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic (27) and Memphis Grizzlies’ Jonas Valanciunas (17) reach for the opening tip in an NBA basketball play-in game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The NBA announced Tuesday that the play-in tourney is here to stay.


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On Tuesday the NBA announced that the play-in tournament is here to stay.

After a league board of governors meeting, the league announced that the end-of-year play-in tournament will return for the 2021-22 season and follow the same format as it did at the end of the 2020-21 season, with the teams that finish the regular season with the seventh-highest through the 10th-highest winning percentages in each conference competing to fill the seventh and eighth playoff spots.

With that announcement the board of governors also agreed on a couple of roster rule changes for the 2021-22 season that will impact every team. Let’s go through each of them.

Two-way players

A player on a two-way contract, who splits their time between an NBA team and that team’s G League affiliate, will be paid a flat salary — 50% of the minimum player salary for a player with zero years of service. 

Two-way players can be on the NBA team’s active list for up to 50 games during the regular season, with no limit on practices, workouts or other activities with the NBA team. Previously, practice days counted towards the days a two-way player could spend with an NBA team. Additionally, there will be no deadline for signing two-way contracts during the the 2021-22 season.

Team active list

Teams will be allowed to have up to 15 players on its active list for every game during the regular season, the play-in tournament and the playoffs. Teams are still able to have 17 players under contract (15 players on standard NBA deals and two players on two-way contracts), but the active player list increases from 13 to 15 for games.

New with the Jazz

Stat of the week

The Utah Jazz’s Joe Ingles scored 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting to go with five assists and four rebounds to help Australia stay undefeated in the group phase of the Tokyo Olympics with a win over Italy on Wednesday.

This week on ‘Unsalvageable’

Check out “Unsalvageable: A Utah Jazz Podcast,” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster). This week, they are joined by Jazz forward Jarrell Brantley for a wide-reaching conversation covering everything from Brantley’s two seasons with the Jazz and SLC Stars, his experience in the NBA bubble, what he’s done to improve his game and everything in between.

New episodes come out every Wednesday. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast and anywhere else you stream podcasts.

From the archives

This week in Jazz history

One year ago I walked into the NBA bubble to watch the Utah Jazz play the first game in Orlando. The Jazz were at the center of the NBA’s shutdown and the return to play was as strange for the players as it was for everyone watching.

Extra points

  • Spinning through the Utah Jazz’s options in the NBA draft and beyond (The Athletic)
  • Utah Jazz NBA draft cheat sheet (KSLsports.com)

Around the league

Mike D’Antoni steps down as Nets assistant coach.

Trade rumors continue to swirl around Ben Simmons.

In a move to create cap space, Pelicans swap centers with Grizzlies in predraft trade.

Up next: Tokyo Olympics, men’s basketball featuring Jazz players and Summer League

July 30 | 7 p.m. | Iran vs. France | Olympics

July 30 | 10:40 p.m. | Italy vs. Nigeria | Olympics

July 31 | 2:20 a.m. | Germany vs. Australia | Olympics

Aug. 3 | 5 p.m. | Memphis vs. Jazz Blue | SLC Summer League

Aug. 3 | 7 p.m. | San Antonio vs. Jazz White | SLC Summer League

Aug. 4 | 5 p.m. | San Antonio vs. Jazz Blue | SLC Summer League

Aug. 4 | 7 p.m. | Memphis vs. Jazz White | SLC Summer League

* Click here for Olympic broadcast and streaming information.