Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team is required to carry 12 players on its active list and at least one player on its inactive list. Teams may have a maximum of three players on its inactive list, which includes any players sent to the NBA Development League.

In the past, a team maintained a 12-player roster, with additional players being put on the injured list, which forced the player to sit a minimum of five games before again being eligible to play. Now, the active and inactive list can be set on a game-by-game basis, one hour before tip-off, with no length of stay required for either list.

If, for example, a star player is injured and forced to sit out one or two games, the coach can now place him on the inactive list and "activate" another player, giving the team a full 12 players available to play. In previous seasons, that player would have had to stay on the injured list five games, so instead the team would frequently just sit the player and make do with the other 11 available players.