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NBA In-Season Tournament 2023, explained: Format, schedule, groups, prize money for new competition

For years, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has expressed his desire to add an In-Season Tournament to the league’s calendar. He finally got his wish.

As part of the most recent collective bargaining negotiations, the NBA and its players agreed to introduce the first-ever In-Season Tournament during the 2023-24 campaign. The league took elements from European soccer tournaments in order to bring more excitement to the regular season.

So, how will this new competition work? Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from the 2023 In-Season Tournament.

MORE: Biggest winners and losers from NBA free agency

NBA In-Season Tournament format

The most recent collective bargaining agreement includes an explanation of the In-Season Tournament format:

  • The NBA In-Season Tournament is split into two stages: the group stage and knockout stage.
  • All 30 teams participate in the group stage, and each team plays a total of four group stage games.
  • There will be six total groups in the group stage (three per conference). Each group will have five teams, and those teams will be placed into groups via random drawings.
  • The six group stage winners will move on to the knockout stage. The two “wild card” teams (one per conference) that had the highest winning percentages but finished second in the group standings will also advance to the knockout stage.
  • Each game of the knockout stage will be an elimination game, meaning the winners will advance to the next round and the losers will be eliminated from the In-Season Tournament.
  • The semifinal games and championship game will be held at a neutral site. Each In-Season Tournament game other than the championship game will be considered a regular season game.

NBA In-Season Tournament schedule

  • Start date: Nov. 3, 2023
  • End date: Dec. 9, 2023

The NBA has not yet released the full schedule for the In-Season Tournament, but games will take place during the first two months of the regular season, per the collective bargaining agreement.

Group stage games will be played on Tuesdays and Fridays in November. The knockout stage will begin in early December, and the “Final Four” will take place on Dec. 7 and 9 in Las Vegas.

NBA In-Season Tournament groups

East Group A

  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Detroit Pistons

East Group B

  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • New York Knicks
  • Miami Heat
  • Washington Wizards
  • Charlotte Hornets

East Group C

  • Boston Celtics
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Orlando Magic

West Group A

  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Utah Jazz
  • Portland Trail Blazers

West Group B

  • Denver Nuggets
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Houston Rockets

West Group C

  • Sacramento Kings
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • San Antonio Spurs

NBA In-Season Tournament prize money

Players will earn prize money based on how far their teams advance in the In-Season Tournament, per the collective bargaining agreement.

  • Win championship: $500,000 per player
  • Reach final game: $200,000 per player
  • Reach semifinal game: $100,000 per player
  • Reach quarterfinal game: $50,000 per player

Players will also be eligible to win the In-Season Tournament MVP award and make the All-Tournament Team.

NBA In-Season Tournament trophy

The winner of the In-Season Tournament will receive the NBA Cup.

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