NBA, NBPA Discussing Next Collective Bargaining Agreement

The NBA, led by commissioner Adam Silver, has already engaged in “extensive talks” with the National Basketball Players Association, led by executive director Tamika Tremaglio, about the league’s next Collective Bargaining Agreement, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The NBA’s current CBA runs through the 2023/24 season, but both the league and the players’ union have the ability to opt out of the agreement before then. If either side exercises its opt-out clause by December 15 of this year, the CBA will instead expire on June 30, 2023.

There’s no indication at this point that the NBA is headed toward a lockout. Charania describes the conversations to date as “positive” and says top officials from the league and the union will hold an important in-person meeting next week.

According to Charania, one area of focus for the NBPA in negotiations with the league is the idea of creating lasting equity for its players beyond their standard contract earnings.

“Creating generational wealth is critically important in this next chapter of the union. … We know that the uncertain lifespan (of an NBA career) makes it crucial to plan for what happens after the ball stops bouncing — creating this generational wealth,” Tremaglio told The Athletic. “Thinking about the players’ contributions to the game and how they can be compensated for it will mean there will have to be more equity structures in place.

“It could be the sale of a team. It could be the deals they are entering where they are receiving equity beyond the four or five years that a contract exists. It’s much broader, and I don’t think historically we’ve looked at it. It’s been the here and now.”

Here are a few other issues the two sides are discussing, per Charania:

  • The NBA and NBPA are expected to allow players to enter the draft at age 18 instead of age 19. That would reopen the door for top high school prospects to directly enter the NBA rather than having to spend a year playing in college or in a non-NBA league.
  • The NBA and NBPA are discussing the idea of including mental health designations on injury reports similar to the way that physical injuries are reported, as well as expanding the mental health treatment options provided by teams.
  • The league and some team owners are in favor of introducing more punitive luxury tax penalties. It’s unclear whether changes to the luxury tax system will be mere tweaks or could be more wide-ranging, but Charania says some team executives believe it will be the biggest issue to resolve in the CBA negotiations.
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