Breaking: NBA, NBPA Reach Collective Bargaining Agreement

From Last Word on Pro Basketball, by Harrison Marcus

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have agreed to a new seven-year collective bargaining agreement, effective through the 2023-24 season. There is a mutual opt-out clause that can be enforced in 2022. The deal is not yet official since owners and players must ratify the agreement, which could take up to a month.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical first reported the news on Wednesday evening.

Breaking: NBA, NBPA Reach Collective Bargaining Agreement

With the agreement in place, the league will avoid a potential lockout, which last occurred for eight months in 2011, shortening the 2011-12 season into a 66-game schedule beginning on Christmas day. With revenues soaring and the league as strong as ever, it’s beneficial for all parties to see labor peace maintained.

Of the notable changes to the new CBA, teams can now designate a veteran star player to receive five-year extensions with a year left on their current deal. This is an increase from the previous policy in which a maximum of four years could be extended to a veteran player. The new extension rule is part of an effort to incentivize star players to re-sign with their current teams.

The NBA will also increase the rookie, veteran, and mid-level exception salaries by 50%. This is expected to increase the average player salary to an all-time high of $8.5 million. In an interesting twist, all salary cap exceptions will now be tied to the salary cap.

Teams can now play in a maximum of just six preseason games, which is part of an effort to shorten the preseason, extend the regular season, and increase the number of off days during the season. The regular season is now expected to begin a week earlier in mid-October.

As for the one and done rule, there are no imminent adjustments. However, league officials and union members will continue to research the subject and are open to discussing changes in the future.

Players will now receive improved benefits from the league, which is expected to include healthcare packages for retired players and tuition reimbursements for current players.

In an effort to improve the presence and value of the D-League, there will now be two way contracts between the NBA and the D-League to allow teams to add two extra roster spots to the original 15. Additionally, teams can adjust salaries to players as they bounce between the NBA and the D-League throughout the season, an increasingly common trend the past few years. This is a salary structure similar to what Major League Baseball has in place with regard to players who spend time in both the major and minor leagues.

Furthermore, the previous rule that prohibited players from signing five-year maximum contracts if their 36th birthday falls in the middle of the contract has been adjusted, to the benefit of the players. The rule is now applicable for players who turn 38 during the contract, not 36.

On the surface, the new CBA appears to be a huge win for the players. More rest days, improved personal benefits, increased salaries, and longer extensions.

Last Word on Pro Basketball will continue to cover the new collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and NBPA as more details are released, including an in-depth analysis later in the week.

 

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