NBA teams used the stretch provision with unprecedented frequency this past week as they rushed to beat the deadline to spread salaries for this coming season. GMs turned to the stretch provision four times in the final three days of August, assuming the Kings indeed did so with Wayne Ellington, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported this morning. Prior to this past week, only three players had their salaries stretched since the provision came into being after the 2011 lockout, so the uptick is quite remarkable.
The stretch provision gives teams short-term relief at the expense of a lingering commitment. The Clippers, Grizzlies and Kings, dealing with hard caps for this season, opted for flexibility when they made use of the stretch provision this week, though Memphis and Sacramento seemed chiefly concerned with the tax line, which they had been butting up against. The Bulls were in peril of going into the tax for much of last season, so their decision last summer to spread Richard Hamilton‘s salary proved wise. The stretch affects actual pay as well as cap hits, so teams that use it can issue a larger number of smaller paychecks to the players they excise using this provision.
The stretch provision applies to contracts signed under the current collective bargaining agreement, while any payment schedule revisions to contracts signed before it came into effect are a matter of negotiation between each team and player. That might explain why GMs are just now beginning to put the stretch provision into widespread use, as fewer deals from the old CBA remain. For more information on how the stretch provision works, check out our glossary entry.
Here’s a list of each use of the stretch provision, including when the use took place and how much salary was spread:
- Kings, Wayne Ellington (August 2014) — $2.771MM over three years
- Grizzlies, Jamaal Franklin (August 2014) — $816K over five years
- Clippers, Carlos Delfino (August 2014) — $3.25MM over five years
- Clippers, Miroslav Raduljica (August 2014) — $1.5MM over five years
- Suns, Michael Beasley (September 2013) — $2.333MM over three years
- Grizzlies, Fab Melo (August 2013) — $1.311MM over three years
- Bulls, Richard Hamilton (July 2013) — $1MM over three years
Basketball Insiders was used in the creation of this post.