NBA agrees to new seven-year CBA with Players Association: Here are the highlights

Feb 18, 2023; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks in a press conference during the 2023 All Star Saturday Night at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NBA agrees to new seven-year CBA with Players Association: Here are the highlights

As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA has agreed to a new seven-year collective bargaining agreement with the NBPA. The deal, which would officially go into effect next season, should be ratified officially “in the coming weeks”, per Wojnarowski, and includes a mutual opt-out after year six. Here’s what fans need to know about the new deal:

There will be a third two-way contract slot available on NBA rosters

Two-way contracts exist as a way for NBA teams to add young players to their rosters without paying them on a full NBA-minimum contract. Under the current CBA, two-way players can be with an NBA team for a maximum of 50 games during a season. These contracts are useful for teams hoping to develop young talent, and have led to the emergence of players like Alex Caruso, Lu Dort, and Duncan Robinson. With an extra slot available, teams can explore the development of more players and potentially springboard more players who might not have had a chance previously into successful NBA careers.

There will be a new In-Season Tournament, with prize money of up to $500,000 per player on the championship-winning team

The In-Season Tournament’s games will count toward a team’s overall record, and the two teams who make the finals will end up with an 83-game schedule instead of 82. November pool play games as part of the NBA’s regular schedule will lead to a single-elimination tournament in December. The semifinals and finals will be played at a neutral site, and Las Vegas is reportedly the favorite to host them.

Teams can extend players with higher veteran extension limits

Players will be more incentivized than ever to sign extensions with teams they are currently playing for, as franchises can now sign players to extensions worth up to 140%, up from 120%, of their salary. Wojnarowski mentioned Boston’s Jaylen Brown as a player who potentially stands to make more money on an extension with the new deal. Instead of Brown being capped at $165 million on a new four-year deal with the Celtics, he would be eligible to make up to $189 million.

Individual postseason awards will require participation in at least 65 games

Under the new CBA, in order for a player to be given awards like MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, or All-NBA honors to name a few, that player will have had to suit up for at least 65 games. This decision by the NBA is designed to combat the trend of NBA teams using “load management” with star players to rest them excessively often. With awards and honors having been a boon to players hoping to earn a big payday in recent seasons, the league hopes that players will feel compelled to be on the court more often during the regular season. All-NBA honors will also be position-less going forward, instead honoring the best overall players in the league regardless of position.

There will be an additional salary cap apron affecting the highest-spending teams

This secondary salary cap apron will go into effect for teams spending $17.5 million or more above the league’s tax line, taking away those teams’ access to the taxpayer mid-level exception in free agency. The league’s plan is to slowly implement this rule over a number of years in hopes that lower-spending teams can play a bigger part in free agency.

No agreement was made on lowering the minimum age for a player to be eligible for the NBA Draft

There was plentiful speculation that a new CBA between the NBA and its players would effectively end the “one-and-done” era in college basketball, but no agreement was reached in that area. As a result, American players will still have to reach 19 years old and remain ineligible to enter the NBA Draft straight out of high school.

Marijuana has been eliminated from the NBA’s drug testing program

Under the new agreement between the league and its players, penalties for marijuana use will no longer exist in the NBA, and the league is no longer testing for it.

Players will have the ability to invest in NBA and WNBA teams, as well as cannabis and sports betting companies

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, active NBA players will be given more freedom in terms of investments and endorsements in the new CBA. For players like LeBron James who have expressed interest in owning a franchise, this change could prove to be important.

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