Latest On New Collective Bargaining Agreement

We learned overnight that the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement will introduce a second tax apron that imposes more severe restrictions on the league’s highest-spending teams. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski explains (via Twitter) what some of those restrictions will be.

Teams that exceed the second apron won’t be permitted to send out cash in deals, trade away first-round picks seven years in the future or sign players who become free agents in the buyout market, sources tell Wojnarowski. The new apron will reportedly be set $17.5MM above the luxury tax line, and ESPN reported earlier that teams in that category will also lose their mid-level exception in free agency.

Teams exceeding the second apron will also be prohibited from taking back more salary than they send out in a trade, sources tell Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link).

Bobby Marks of ESPN points to the Suns’ acquisition of Kevin Durant in February and the Nets’ trade for James Harden in 2021 as deals that would likely have needed to be altered if the new rules were in place at the time they were made (Twitter link).

There’s more on the new CBA agreement:

  • Positions will no longer be taken into consideration in voting for All-NBA teams, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Under the current rules, voters must pick two guards, two forwards and a center for each of the three teams. Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid were the top vote-getters in the MVP race last year, but because they both play center, Embiid had to settle for second-team All-NBA honors.
  • Draymond Green isn’t a supporter of the new agreement, claiming the union didn’t get enough in negotiations. “Players lose again…. Smh! Middle and Lower spectrum teams don’t spend because they don’t want to,” he tweeted. “They want to lose. So increase their spending capabilities, just to increase them. They continue to cut out the middle. And this is what we rushed into a deal for? Smdh! Never fails.” In an exchange with fans, Green pointed out that the Warriors sold for $500MM shortly before he arrived and claimed that the team is now worth $8 billion. “Never seen someone go to a table with the assets that makes an entire machine go, and lose EVERY time! Blasphemous,” Green added.
  • The one-and-done rule that prevents players from entering the NBA draft directly out of high school remains in place, but Devin Booker believes it will eventually be changed, writes Dana Scott of The Arizona Republic. “I think most kids are still finding their way out or they’re not even going to college and their spending a year removed training somewhere at a prep school or something of that such,” Booker said. “So with the NIL, I think that’s a step forward. Those players are able to get paid now off their name and likeness, so that’s really important. But we’ll see. I think it will eventually get back to no college.”
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