The goal of this plan is to best cluster team to minimize travel for three reasons: costs, wear and tear, and environment. This proposal keeps the same 15 teams in the East and the same 15 teams in the West. It is accomplished by executing two "trades" between divisions.
Just some division name changes in the East:
- Rename the Atlantic Division the Northeast Division. Teams are: Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philly, Toronto
- Rename the Central Division the Midwest Division. Teams are: Cleveland, Detroit, Indiana, Chicago, Milwaukee
- No change to Southeast Division. Teams are: Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington
More changes in the West, both to division names and to the teams in them
- Rename Southwest Division the Central Division, and substitute Minnesota for San Antonio. Teams are: Minnesota, Memphis, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas. These are central time zone teams that are on or fairly close to the Mississippi River, the center of America.
- Rename the Northwest Division the Southwest Division, and substitute San Antonio for Minnesota and Phoenix for Portland. Teams are: San Antonio, OKC, Denver, Utah, Phoenix. These are the desert area teams.
- Keep Pacific Division name, and substitute Portland for Phoenix: Lakers, Clippers, Sacramento, Golden State, Portland. this gets all of the Pacific time zone teams together.
The bottom line is that Portland and Phoenix trade divisions, and Minnesota and San Antonio trade divisions. The result is a much more rational alignment.