New CBA Includes Cap Smoothing

The NBA and its players union put provisions in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement to avoid a repeat of the salary cap spike that occurred in 2016 when the last television deal was negotiated, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Sources tell Charania that the league and the NBPA agreed to cap “smoothing” that limits salary cap increases to no more than 10% per season through the seven years of the CBA. The NBA’s next media rights deal will start after the 2024/25 season.

The salary cap that took effect in 2016 increased by 32% and provided teams with massive amounts of money to sign free agents. That led to the league-altering move that allowed Kevin Durant to join the Warriors, but it also resulted in a slew of high-priced contracts that teams quickly came to regret for players such as Timofey Mozgov, Ryan Anderson and Allen Crabbe.

The league sought to implement cap smoothing in 2016, but the union rejected the idea.

More information has been leaked tonight about the new CBA:

  • The agreement will allow players to invest in NBA and WNBA teams, Charania has learned (Twitter link). They can also promote or invest in companies involved with sports betting and cannabis.
  • There will be a 7.5% increase in the mid-level exception as well as a 30% increase to the room exception, Charania tweets.
  • Luxury tax brackets will begin increasing at the same rate as the salary cap, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link). He notes that the brackets have been at fixed $5MM intervals above the tax line since the current system was adopted in 2011.
  • Rookie scale extensions worth less than the maximum salary can now cover up to five years instead of four, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. He uses the Timberwolves’ Jaden McDaniels as an example of a player who might agree to a five-year extension this summer without getting a full max deal.
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