On June 15, 2014, Shane Battier announced his retirement immediately following the Miami Heat's loss in Game 5 in the 2014 NBA Finals. He was 35, and had played for thirteen seasons. He won back-to-back NBA championships with the Heat (2012–2013)
On September 9, 2014, Chauncey Billups announced his retirement after 17 years of playing; the last team he played for was the Detroit Pistons, and he won a championship with them in 2004 as well as a Finals MVP that same year.
The regular season began on October 28, 2014, with the defending NBA champions San Antonio Spurs hosting the first game against the Dallas Mavericks. The regular season ended on April 15, 2015. Christmas Day games were played on December 25, 2014. The NBA is mulling a week-long All-Star break in February 2015, and the full schedule was released during a one-hour schedule release special on August 13, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. EDT on NBA TV.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the #1 pick in the NBA draft for the second year in a row, as well as the third time in four years and the sixth time in franchise history. It tied with the Chicago Bulls in 2008 for the lowest percentage possible in the modern-day draft lottery, as well as marking the second time a team got the #1 draft pick two years in a row. Their selection was Andrew Wiggins, the second straight Canadian player to be selected as the #1 pick.
Both top selections Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett were traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love on August 23, the soonest date allowed, with Wiggins having signed a rookie contract 30 days earlier. The trade of Wiggins also marked the second time since the NBA-ABA merger that a #1 draft pick was traded to another team without playing for his drafting team.
In September, Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson sold his share of the Hawks after self-reporting a 2012 e-mail he received that was considered inappropriate and racist. Around that same time, general manager Danny Ferry's remark that player Luol Deng "had a bit of African in him" was leaked, resulting in Ferry taking an indefinite leave of absence and having coach Mike Budenholzer taking on the job until his potential return.
On September 29, the Phoenix Suns became the first team to have two sets of brothers on the same team, with Goran Dragić's younger brother Zoran signing a two-year deal and both twin brothers Markieff and Marcus Morris getting four-year contract extensions. All four played in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on November 15, and on January 2, 2015 they played together at the same time late in the fourth quarter in a 112-96 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
On October 6, the NBA announced a new 9-year TV deal with ESPN and TNT worth $24 billion. Starting in the 2015–16 NBA season, the NBA's value increased from $930 million to $2.6 billion per year, which would also increase each team's salary cap from $63 million to around $89 million. In addition, the NBA also announced that it will host an end-of-season award show on TNT.
On October 19, the Brooklyn Nets and the Boston Celtics played a preseason game that consisted of four 11-minute quarters, instead of the regular 12-minute quarters; it decreased the overall amount of playing time to around two hours. Boston won the game 95-90.
The NBA logo assumed a new position on team jerseys, moving from the top left chest to the back atop a player's name. In addition, teams who have won a championship will have their uniforms adorned with a gold patch on the back, featuring the number of championships won.
The NBA owners vote 17–13 to reform the lottery odds to reduce the chances of the worst teams in the league winning the lottery. However, the proposal failed as a 23-vote super-majority was required.
On November 1, 2014 Carmelo Anthony surpassed 20,000 career points, becoming the 40th player in NBA history to do so. He reached the milestone in the 1st quarter of a 96-93 home win against the Charlotte Hornets.
On November 11, Dirk Nowitzki surpassed Hakeem Olajuwon as the highest-scoring player born outside the United States and the 9th all-time, as the Mavericks came from behind 24 points down to beat Sacramento 106–98 for their 21st straight regular-season win at home against the Kings. Nowitzki hit a jumper from just inside the three-point line early in the fourth quarter to pass Olajuwon, finishing the night at 26,953 career points.
On November 12, Kobe Bryant surpassed John Havlicek and became the all-time leader for missed field goal attempts in the league. His career-breaking record 13,418th missed shot came at 6:22 in the fourth quarter on a 14-foot fadeaway in a 107-102 loss on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies.
On November 13, the Dallas Mavericks led the Philadelphia 76ers by 44 points, tying for the 2nd-largest margin at halftime. (Mavericks franchise record was broken by their own team on December 27, 2020 led the Los Angeles Clippers by 50 points, 77–27 an NBA record still stands).
On December 13, Dwight Howard reached 10,000 career rebounds. At 29 years, 5 days, Howard became the third youngest player in NBA history to reach 10,000 career rebounds. Only Wilt Chamberlain (28 years, 81 days) and Bill Russell (28 years, 285 days) reached the milestone at a younger age.
On December 14, 2014, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan for third place on the all-time scoring list. He reached the mark at 5:24 in the second quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves by making two free-throw shots. Bryant finished with 26 points in the Lakers' 100-94 victory over Minnesota.
On December 22, the Detroit Pistons waived Josh Smith after signing him to a four-year, $54 million contract in July 2013. He signed with the Houston Rockets two days later, after the Rockets waived undrafted rookie Tarik Black, who signed with the Los Angeles Lakers a few days later. In Smith's debut with the Rockets, he recorded 21 points and 8 rebounds in 32 minutes in a 117–111 overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on December 26. After the waivers were cleared, the Pistons went on a seven-game winning streak after starting out 5-23 with Smith on the roster.
On December 26, Dirk Nowitzki passed Elvin Hayes to become the 8th best all-time scorer. He scored 14 points in the Mavericks' 102–98 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Also that day, Jared Dudley became the first player to shoot perfectly from the field while attempting at least 10 field goals and 3 three-pointers, as he scored 24 points on 10-for-10 shooting, (4 for 4 on three-pointers) in the Milwaukee Bucks' 107-77 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
On January 2, 2015, an agreement was put in place by the Atlanta Hawks ownership to sell the franchise.
For the month of January 2015, the entire Atlanta Hawks starting lineup (Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford) tied for Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors. This marked the first time five players tied for the award, and the second time that multiple players from the same team tied for the award. All except Carroll would go on to become Eastern Conference All-Stars.
During the All-Star game, Russell Westbrook would record the second-highest number of points with 41 as the Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference 163-158. After the game, it was announced that the New York Knicks had bought out Amar'e Stoudemire's contract and he could play wherever he wanted to. He'd end up going to the Dallas Mavericks two days later.
On March 24, Dirk Nowitzki recorded his 10,000th rebound in a 101-94 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. He became the first player to record 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 1,000 blocks, and 1,000 three-pointers, as well as the seventh player reach 10,000 rebounds.
On March 24, 2015, Jeremy Lin and Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers made up the first starting Asian-American backcourt in NBA history in a 127-117 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Clarkson is Filipino-American on his father's side and Filipino on his mother's; Lin's heritage is Chinese/Taiwanese. Clarkson had a career high 30 points and three blocks, along seven assists and four rebounds. He became the youngest Laker to score 30 points since Andrew Bynum on Jan. 21, 2009. Jeremy Lin contributed with 19 points, 7 assists, and 2 rebounds.
On April 8, Derrick Rose became the first player to return from a torn meniscus injury in a time-span less than 6 months. He was out for approximately 6 weeks.
All five teams in the Southwest Division made the 2015 playoffs, marking only the fourth time all teams in a division had made the playoffs, and the first time since the entire Central Division made it in the 2005–06 NBA season. It was the first occurrence of all teams in a division making the playoffs with all teams having a winning record.
On April 11, in a game between the New York Knicks and the Orlando Magic, the teams scored 15 combined points in the second quarter, setting an NBA record for the fewest points in a quarter.
The New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers suffered their first 60-loss seasons in franchise history. The Knicks finished 17-65, surpassing 23-59 in 1986 and 2006. The Lakers finished 21-61, surpassing their worst record of 27-55 from the previous season. It leaves the Utah Jazz as the only franchise without a 60-loss season.
The Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers both missed the playoffs, marking the first time since 2004–05 that two teams who reached the conference finals the previous post-season, failed to make the playoffs.
The Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks both achieved their first 60-win seasons in franchise history, finishing 67-15 and 60-22 and first place in their conference. Also, both teams advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 1976 and 1970, respectively.
On April 30, the Chicago Bulls eliminated the Milwaukee Bucks 120-66 in Game 6 of the playoffs. The 54 point blowout is the largest margin of victory in a series-clinching game in NBA postseason history.
The Houston Rockets became the ninth team in NBA history to win a playoff series in which they faced a 3–1 deficit---in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Clippers.
On May 23, Stephen Curry set a new NBA record for the most 3-point FG made in a single playoffs, with 59, previously held by Reggie Miller with 58 in 2000. Curry would eventually finish the postseason with a total of 98 3-point FG made, 39 more than the previous record.