NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addresses rules to improve game flow

The Kings worked to finalize the trade of De Marcus Cousins to the Pelicans during the All Star Game last season

The Kings worked to finalize the trade of De Marcus Cousins to the Pelicans during the All Star Game last season

It also passed a rule that would limit timeouts in the final two minutes of the game to two per team, down from three per team.

Referees will also assess delay-of-game penalties for free-throw shooters who wander past the three-point line during their attempts, and halftime will be a strictly-enforced 15-minute break, effective immediately after the second quarter ends.

"These changes will help us fulfill our goal of improving game flow and pace of play", said Byron Spruell, NBA president, league operations.

"These changes will help us fulfill our goal of improving game flow and pace of play", National Basketball Association president of league operations Byron Spruell said in a statement.

The trade deadline will now be before the All-Star Game, The Vertical reported, citing sources .

On top of the timeout changes, the Board of Governors also approved a pair of rules in hopes of speeding up game flow. In overtime, teams will be granted two instead of three timeouts.

Part of that effort includes the elimination of 20-second timeouts.

Impact: In the previous format "full" timeouts were 90 seconds and "20-second" timeouts were 60 seconds.

The Board of Governors has voted to have the trade deadline the second Thursday in February, which will be Feb. 8, 2018, this season. In the past, it would always come the Thursday following the all-star game, turning the All-Star Weekend - and the congregation of virtually everyone there - into a rumor-filled few days. That will allow teams to settle their rosters and avoid the disruptions as play resumes after the All Star break. "There really was no magic to it".

"In terms of 'one-and-done, ' as I've said fairly recently, it is something that we're taking a fresh look at", Silver said.

The NBA is clearly looking for ways to speed up the game, which tends to drag thanks to the endless amount of timeouts in the final five minutes.

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