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 change will allow trade speculation to cease once All-Star weekend begins, so players will no longer have to endure the constant questions during a time that's supposed to be a celebration of their talent.
The league has also made significant changes to the amount of timeouts teams will have. The maximum number of timeouts per game will reduce from 18 to 14, and teams will only be able to call two timeouts in the final three minutes of a game. Here are the full rule changes:
Each team will have seven timeouts per game, with no restrictions per half.
All team timeouts will be 75 seconds. In the previous format, "full" timeouts were 90 seconds and "20-second" timeouts were 60 seconds. Both "full" and "20-second" timeouts have been replaced by team timeouts.
All four periods will have two mandatory timeouts, which will take place after the first stoppage under the seven- and three-minute marks.
The under-nine-minute mandatory timeouts in the second and fourth periods will be eliminated.
Each team can enter the fourth period with up to four team timeouts.
Each team will be limited to two team timeouts after the later of (i) the three-minute mark of the fourth period or (ii) the resumption of play after the second mandatory timeout of the fourth period.
Each team will have two team timeouts per overtime period; previously teams had three.
In addition, referees will assess a delay-of-game violation if a free-throw shooter ventures beyond the 3-point line between attempts.
"These changes will help us fulfill our goal of improving game flow and pace of play," said Byron Spruell, the NBA's president of operations. "Fewer stoppages and less time without action, especially at the end of a game, will further enhance the viewing experience for our fans."
According to the release, the NBA's competition committee unanimously recommended the rules changes before the Board of Governors' vote.