One major reason the one-and-done rule for draft prospects wasn’t changed in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was that neither the NBA nor the NBPA was particularly gung-ho about adjusting it and both sides wanted the other to give something up in exchange for scrapping it, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on his Woj Pod. According to Wojnarowski, one idea the league proposed during the one-and-done discussions was to tack a year onto rookie scale contracts for first-round picks.
“I think the league wanted the rookie scale to go another year so it would be another year before players could get their rookie extension or restricted free agency,” Woj said (hat tip to RealGM). “That was something that obviously they didn’t get in talks, but I think was tied a little bit to one-and-done.”
Current rookie scale contracts cover four seasons and give players the ability to sign extensions after three years, so it sounds like the NBA proposed the idea of bumping those numbers to five and four years, respectively.
Later on his podcast, Wojnarowski said that he views the new rule requiring postseason award winners to have played at least 65 games as a “ceremonial” one designed to make it look as if the NBA is doing something to reduce load management.
“I don’t know that this is going to change much behavior,” he said (hat tip to RealGM). “… I’m rolling my eyes a little bit at that one… I just don’t see this impacting star players playing in any more or less games than they would have before.”
Wojnarowski’s ESPN colleagues Bobby Marks and Tim Bontemps also questioned the rule, with Marks pointing out that teams – not players – are generally the ones dictating load management plans, while Bontemps observed that most players who suit up for fewer than 65 games are doing so because of actual injuries, not load management.
Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter links) provides some more information on the investment opportunities that NBA players will have in the new CBA, clarifying that individual players won’t be able to directly invest in NBA teams — the NBPA will have the ability to passively invest in teams on behalf of all players. Individual players will have the ability to directly invest in WNBA teams, but there will be restrictions: They can’t invest in WNBA teams that an NBA owner controls a stake in, an individual player can’t own more than 4% of a franchise, and players can’t collectively control more than 8% of a franchise.
- The NBA has announced six finalists – one from each division – for its 2022/23 Sportsmanship Award (Twitter link). Those players are Heat big man Bam Adebayo, Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, Cavaliers guard Darius Garland, Kings forward Harrison Barnes, Timberwolves guard Mike Conley, and Rockets big man Boban Marjanovic.
- Big man Alize Johnson, who has been an NBA free agent since being waived by the Spurs in December, has new representation. He has signed with agent Bernie Lee of Thread Sports Management, according to HoopsHype (Twitter link). Johnson joined the Austin Spurs of the G League following his short stint with San Antonio, then was dealt to the Wisconsin Herd in January.