The NBA's Las Vegas Summer League will for the first time include a single-elimination playoff tournament in 2013, the league announced on Wednesday.
The change in format will give each team a minimum of five games. The Summer League, played at UNLV, tips off on July 12, and the preliminary games for seeding purposes stretch until July 16. The playoff tournament begins July 17 and concludes with a championship game on July 22.
Adding a championship crown both adds to the marketing value of the event and the value for participating teams.
Last season, the Summer League included a record 24 of 30 NBA teams, and attendance crept to 51,000 over the 10-day period, according to the league. Due to the likely increased competitiveness with a title on the line, those numbers could rise, as could the television following that watches the games being broadcast on NBATV and NBA.com.
The change presents more opportunity for NBA teams, as well. There are more games for the winning clubs, giving those squads more opportunity to see their players. Additionally, teams will not only get a better setting to observe the competitiveness of their players, but that of their coaches. Summer League teams are generally led by assistant coaches.