On July 17, 2017, Paul Pierce signed a ceremonial contract with the Boston Celtics and officially retired as a Celtic after playing 19 seasons and winning one championship with the Celtics in 2008.
On July 19, 2017, James Jones was announced to be the vice president of basketball operations for the Phoenix Suns, which signified his retirement after playing 14 seasons and winning two championships with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013 and one championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.
On August 15, 2017, Tayshaun Prince was announced to be assistant general manager for the Memphis Grizzlies, which signified his retirement after playing 15 seasons and winning one championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004.
On September 2, 2017, Primož Brezec announced his retirement after 21 professional seasons. Brezec had played in Russia, Cyprus, Kuwait, and his native country Slovenia since last playing in the NBA during the 2009–10 NBA season.
For the first time since the inauguration of the BAA, there would be no coaching changes going from the previous season to entering the regular season. In fact, the 536 days from Dave Joerger being fired as coach of the Memphis Grizzlies to the day the Phoenix Suns fired Earl Watson as head coach would be the longest period in NBA history without any coaching changes occur. The last time no head coaches were hired in the off-season occurred during the 1975–76 season.
z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs
c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs
y – Clinched division title
x – Clinched playoff spot
* – Division leader
By winning its division, Miami automatically won the tie-breaker and clinched #6 seed over Milwaukee.
Oklahoma City, Utah, and New Orleans were seeded based on record in games against each other (OKC: 4–3, UTAH: 4–4, NO: 3–4).
San Antonio clinched #7 seed over Minnesota based on head-to-head record (2–1).
On August 9, 2017, the NBA announced that the Brooklyn Nets would play two regular season games at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico. On December 7, the Nets played against the Oklahoma City Thunder and on December 9, they matched up against the Miami Heat. The Nets prevailed 100–95 over the Thunder in their first game, but lost to the Heat 101–89 in their second game.
The 2018 NBA Playoffs began on Saturday, April 14, 2018, ESPN aired the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals and TNT aired the 2018 Western Conference Finals. For the first time since 1979 both Conference Finals series went to a deciding Game 7. The season ended with the 2018 NBA Finals which began on May 31, 2018 and ended on June 8, 2018 on ABC.
Awards were presented at the NBA Awards ceremony, which were held on June 25. Finalists for voted awards were announced during the playoffs and winners were presented at the award ceremony. The All-NBA Team were announced in advance in order for teams to have all the necessary information to make offseason preparations.
This was the Milwaukee Bucks' final season at the Bradley Center, their home since 1988. The team played its final regular season game there on April 9 against the Orlando Magic, and the final playoff game there was played on April 26 against the Boston Celtics. The team moved into the new Fiserv Forum prior to the start of the 2018–19 NBA season. The team played a "Return to the MECCA" game at the UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena (the former Milwaukee or "MECCA" Arena, their home from 1968 until 1988) on October 26 against the Celtics as part of the team's 50th season celebration.
Nike is the official uniform provider beginning with the 2017–18 season. During this time, each team was provided with four different jersey apparel that were displayed throughout the seasons: the "Association Edition", "Icon Edition", "Statement Edition" (tentatively called the "Athlete's Mindset Edition"), and "City Edition" (tentatively called the "Community Edition") jerseys replaced the more typical home and road jersey ideas with alternatives also being included every now and then as well. In addition to those jerseys, eight teams were also provided a "Classic Edition" jersey to commemorate some of their past designs throughout the season. For the first time in league history, the manufacturer's logo appeared on the team uniforms, making the NBA the last professional sports league in North America to have the manufacturer's logo appear on the team uniforms.
The NBA became the first major US sports league to eliminate the distinction between home and road uniforms. Home teams are now allowed to wear their choice of uniforms, while away teams may wear any color that contrasts sufficiently with the home team's choice.
The Cleveland Cavaliers debuted their new uniforms for the 2017–18 season after unveiling the new logo on May 31, 2017.
The Detroit Pistons debuted their new uniforms for the 2017–18 season after unveiling the new logo on May 17, 2017.
The Indiana Pacers debuted their new uniforms for the 2017–18 season after unveiling new alternate logos and home floor along with their uniforms on July 28, 2017.
The Minnesota Timberwolves debuted their new uniforms for the 2017–18 season after unveiling the new logo on April 11, 2017, and unveiling their new uniforms on August 10, 2017.
The Portland Trail Blazers debuted their new uniforms for the 2017–18 season after unveiling the new logo on May 8, 2017, and unveiling their new uniforms on July 29, 2017.
Air Jordan-branded apparel were used during the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, which is endorsed by the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan, and is owned by Nike.
Advertisements began to appear on league uniforms. With this, the NBA became the first of the "Big Four" North American professional sports league to use corporate sponsorship patches on its jerseys. As of March 6, 2018, there were 21 NBA teams that had signed uniform sponsorship contracts:
On July 6, 2017, the NBA unveiled an update to its logo, featuring new typography and a modified color scheme.
The regular season started eight days earlier than the previous season. This move by the NBA aims for fewer "back-to-back" games, even fewer than the previous season which had already reached an all-time low to help address teams that were "resting" their superstars.
The NBA decreased the maximum number of timeouts in a regulation game from 18 to 14. The three team timeouts during the last two minutes of the game were also decreased to two per team in the last three minutes to improve the flow and pace of the game.
The trade deadline was moved from four days after the NBA All-Star Game to ten days before it, so teams can settle their rosters before the All-Star break.
Free-throw shooters were assessed a delay-of-game violation if they venture outside of the three-point line in between attempts.
Referees can now assess dangerous closeouts of defenders to jump shooters with little space to land for a technical or a flagrant foul. Informally dubbed as the "Zaza Pachulia rule". Also, officials can now assess if a player is in a shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is a shooting or a common foul. The type of foul was determined on the sequencing of the player's movement if the foul happens before or after the player starts a shooting motion. Additionally, they can also assess an offensive foul if an offensive player intentionally lunges into the defender or locks arms to create contact, a rule informally dubbed as the "Harden rule".
On September 28, 2017, the NBA board of governors approved the changes to the draft lottery system to discourage teams from losing on purpose. Starting with the 2018–19 NBA season, the teams with the three worst records had equal odds at the #1 pick. In addition, the revised draft lottery consisted of selecting the top four teams instead of the usual three that occurred for over two decades. The approval for the change was nearly unanimous, with only the Oklahoma City Thunder voting against the change and the Dallas Mavericks abstaining from voting.
On October 3, 2017, the NBA and NBPA announced the changes to the NBA All-Star Game format. The vote leaders for each conferences were assigned as team captains and were able to select players from the rest of the starters and the reserves, regardless of the conference they play in, to form their own teams. The newly formed teams also played for a charity of choice to help the games remain competitive. This marked the first time, the conferences did not play against each other since the inaugural All-Star game. Selection process remained the same.
On October 18, 2017, Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin fell to the ground hard after making a layup when playing the Indiana Pacers, causing him to miss the entire season. He suffered a ruptured patellar tendon of his right knee.
That same day, in the season opening game for the Portland Trail Blazers and Phoenix Suns, the Trail Blazers would defeat the Suns 124–76 in what would be the greatest deficit for a season-opening game in league history.
On October 25, 2017, the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, normally a frontcourt player, recorded his 56th career triple-double and 1st career triple-double as starting point guard.
On November 3, 2017, LeBron James scored 57 points for the night and his 29,000th career point, becoming the youngest player, and just the seventh overall, to reach that mark (32 years, 309 days). LeBron James also passed both Kevin Garnett for 12th on the NBA's all-time field goals list (with 10,506 career field goals to his name) and passed John Havlicek for 11th on the NBA's all-time field goals list with 10,514 career field goals.
On November 7, 2017, Ben Simmons became the only player in NBA history with at least 170 points, 100 rebounds and 80 assists in his team's first 10 games.
On November 7, 2017, the Sacramento Kings set a record for most points scored before a starter scored. The King's bench scored the team's first 29 points before Willie Cauley-Stein scored a free throw at 4:08 of the second quarter. The previous record was held by the Milwaukee Bucks at 23 points set on April 5, 2011 against the Orlando Magic.
On November 11, 2017, Lonzo Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double at 20 years and 15 days old. He recorded 19 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds. The previous record holder was LeBron James' at 20 years and 20 days old.
On November 14, 2017, the Boston Celtics became the first team in NBA history to win at least 13 straight games after starting the season 0–2. The winning streak ended at 16 when they lost to the Miami Heat on November 22, 2017.
On November 15, 2017, the Atlanta Hawks set a franchise record for their largest margin of victory in a win against the Sacramento Kings at 46 points, 126-80. The previous record was set on February 12, 1965 at a 44-point margin when the St. Louis Hawks beat the Baltimore Bullets, 144–100.
On November 28, 2017, LeBron James was ejected for the first time in his career after contesting a non-call following a drive to the basket against the Miami Heat. He had gone 1,081 games without disqualification.
On January 23, 2018, LeBron James scored his 30,000th point at the age of 33 years old and 24 days surpassing Kobe Bryant as the youngest player to do so, as well as being just the 7th player to join the 30,000-point club. Additionally, he became the first player in NBA history with 30,000 points, 7,000 rebounds and 7,000 assists.
On January 27, 2018, Carmelo Anthony became the 21st player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points.
On January 28, 2018, Manu Ginóbili and Vince Carter, marked the first time in NBA history that two 40 year-old players scored 15 points or more in the same game with Ginóbili scoring 15 points and Carter scoring 21 points.
On January 30, 2018, James Harden becomes the first player in NBA history to record a triple-double with at least 60 points scored in a game, he recorded 60 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. This marks the highest scored points for a player with a triple-double. He also set a franchise scoring record that was previously held by Calvin Murphy.
On February 5, 2018, Dirk Nowitzki became the 6th player in NBA history to reach 50,000 minutes played. He also surpassed Elvin Hayes for top 5 in the process. Coincidentally, his name was incorrectly spelled as "Nowitkzi" on his jersey.
On February 12, 2018, T. J. McConnell of the Philadelphia 76ers recorded a triple-double while coming off the bench, this marks the first time in franchise history that a reserve recorded a triple-double. He recorded 10 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds while also adding a career-high 6 steals.
On February 15, 2018, Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets recorded the fastest triple-double in NBA history, with his feat in fourteen minutes and 33 seconds, beating previous record holder Jim Tucker's time of seventeen minutes set in 1955.
On February 27, 2018, LeBron James became the only player in NBA history with at least 30,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists.
On March 6, 2018, Carmelo Anthony passed Jerry West and moved to 20th on the NBA all-time scoring list.
On March 18, 2018, Carmelo Anthony passed Reggie Miller and moved to 19th on the NBA all-time scoring list.
On March 19, 2018, Vince Carter passed Patrick Ewing for 22nd on the NBA all-time scoring list.
That same day, the Miami Heat beat the Denver Nuggets in a classic double-overtime, scoring 149–141 and setting a franchise record for most points in a game. This is also the highest score made a team in this season, surpassing 148 points made by Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder earlier in the season.
On March 22, 2018, the Charlotte Hornets beat the Memphis Grizzlies with a margin of 61 points, the most in the last 20 years. It was also a Hornets franchise record, the final scores were 140-79.
On March 30, 2018, LeBron James broke Michael Jordan's record for consecutive games with at least 10 points. James scored in double digits for 867 consecutive games and finished the game with 27. On the same game, he also tied Kobe Bryant's record for third-most 20-point games in NBA history with 941.
On April 4, 2018 Wayne Ellington of the Miami Heat made his 207th three-pointer of the season as a reserve, setting an NBA record for the most three-pointers made in a season by a player off the bench. The previous record of 206 three-pointers was set by Eric Gordon last year.
For the first time since the 1996-97 NBA season, two teams played their last game against each other for the 8th and final spot in the playoffs. The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Denver Nuggets 112–106 in overtime to clinch the final playoff seed in the west. This also ended Minnesota's 13-year drought without a playoff appearance having last played in 2003–04 season.
On April 6, 2018, LeBron James became youngest player to score 31,000 career points at 33 years and 97 days and the 7th player in NBA history to do so. He achieved the record by finishing 44 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists in a losing effort against Philadelphia 76ers, 132–130.
On April 11, 2018, Markelle Fultz became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double at 19 years and 317 days old. He recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, surpassing the record held by Lonzo Ball earlier in the season.