The NBA and National Basketball Players Association reached a tentative deal on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement early on the morning of Saturday, April 1. As a result of that agreement, we can rest assured that we won’t be faced with an NBA work stoppage this summer.
However, it may still be a little while until we have a complete picture of what’s changing and what’s staying the same in the new CBA.
Some of the coming changes have already been reported and more details will likely continue to trickle out in the coming days and weeks, so while we wait for an official term sheet, we’re tracking all those changes in the space below.
We’ll continue to add or clarify items to this list as necessary, so keep checking back for updates. Here’s what we know so far about the new CBA based on unofficial information from NBA reporters:
Updated 5-10-23 (6:18am CT)
The NBA will introduce an in-season tournament, likely as part of the 2023/24 schedule. Here are some details:
- Teams will be divided into six intra-conference groups of five teams apiece and play each of the other teams in their group once. That first round of the tournament will consist of four games (two home and two road) that are part of the regular season schedule.
- The six group winners and the top two wild card teams will advance to the eight-team single-elimination portion of the tournament. Tiebreakers are still being determined.
- The “Final Four” will be played at a neutral location. Las Vegas is reportedly receiving consideration.
- The round robin, quarterfinal, and semifinal games will count toward teams’ regular season record, but the final won’t.
- NBA teams are expected to initially have 80 regular season games on their schedule. The leftover games for the teams that don’t make the single-elimination portion of the in-season tournament would be scheduled at a later date, while the two teams that make the final of the tournament would end up playing 83 games.
- Prize money for the in-season tournament will be $500K per player for the winning team; $200K per player for the runner-up; $100K per player for the semifinal losers; and $50K per player for the quarterfinal losers.
Second tax apron
The NBA’s current “tax apron” is set a few million dollars above the luxury tax line. For instance, in 2022/23, the tax line is $150,267,000 and the tax apron is $156,983,000. Teams above the tax apron aren’t permitted to acquire players via sign-and-trade, use more than the taxpayer portion of the mid-level exception, or use the bi-annual exception.
In the new CBA, the NBA will implement a second tax apron that will be $17.5MM above the tax line. Teams above that second apron will face a new set of restrictions, as follows:
- They won’t have access to the taxpayer mid-level exception.
- They won’t be able to trade away their first-round pick that’s seven years away, beginning in 2024/25. If the team remains above the second apron in two of the next four seasons, that draft pick that was frozen for trade purposes will fall to the end of the first round. If they stay under the second apron for three of the next four seasons, the pick would become unfrozen.
- They won’t be allowed to sign free agents on the buyout market.
- They won’t be permitted to send out cash in trades.
- They won’t be able to take back more salary in a trade than they send out.
- They won’t be able to aggregate salary for matching purposes in trades.
The second tax apron is expected to be phased in over the next two seasons.
All-NBA and postseason award voting
Two key changes will impact voting on postseason awards beginning in 2023/24:
- Players will need to appear in a minimum of 65 games to be eligible to earn postseason awards such as MVP, Rookie of the Year, All-NBA, etc.
- Players would reportedly have to log at least 20 minutes in at least 63 of those games for them to count toward the 65-game minimum. They would be permitted to play between 15-20 minutes in two games and still have them count toward the minimum of 65. A player who suffers a season-ending injury can qualify for postseason awards with 62 games played. There will also be exceptions related to “bad faith circumstances.”
- The three All-NBA teams will be positionless rather than featuring two guards, two forwards, and one center.
- The two All-Defensive teams will be positionless rather than featuring two guards, two forwards, and one center.
(Original stories can be found here)
Salary cap changes
The following changes will apply to the salary cap:
- The cap will increase by no more than 10% per league year in order to avoid a repeat of the 32% spike in 2016.
- The value of the mid-level exception will receive a 7.5% bump and the room exception will be increased by 30%. Those bumps will be in addition to the exceptions’ usual increase, which is tied to the salary cap.
- The luxury tax brackets, previously at $5MM intervals above the tax line, will now increase at the same rate of the salary cap.
- A new cap exception will be introduced for second-round picks so that teams no longer need to use cap room or the mid-level exception to give those players salaries worth more than the rookie minimum or deals longer than two years. The exception will allow teams to offer a salary up to the equivalent of the veteran’s minimum for a third-year player and a deal covering up to four years.
- Teams below the minimum salary floor (90% of the cap) on the first day of the regular season will not receive an end-of-season tax distribution from the league’s taxpaying teams.
Free agency and contract-related changes
The following changes will apply to player contracts:
- A player signing a veteran contract extension will be allowed to receive 140% of his previous salary in the first year of a new extension instead of 120%. Our expectation is that players earning less than the NBA’s average salary will be able to make up to 140% (instead of 120%) of the average salary in the first year of a veteran extension, though that has yet to be confirmed.
- A player who declines a player option as part of a veteran extension could have a first-year salary worth less than the player option in his new contract.
- Players will be permitted to sign rookie scale extensions of up to five years (instead of four) even if the extension is worth less than the maximum salary.
- The qualifying offer amount for restricted free agents will increase by 10% over its usual scale amount.
- The time a team has to match an offer sheet for a restricted free agent will be reduced from 48 hours to 24 hours.
- Teams will no longer face restrictions on how many players on Designated Rookie or Designated Veteran contracts they can carry.
- Teams will be permitted to begin negotiating with their own free agents one day after the NBA Finals conclude.
- Teams above either tax apron won’t be permitted to sign “buyout” players. A “buyout” player will be defined as anyone waived that season whose pre-waiver salary exceeded the non-taxpayer mid-level exception.
- Teams above either tax apron also won’t be able to take back more salary than they send out in any trade and will be limited to a lesser form of the taxpayer mid-level exception. That new MLE will be worth $5MM and can’t be used for deals exceeding two years.
(Original stories can be found right here)
- During the 2023/24 league year, teams above either tax apron will only be permitted to take back up to 110% of their outgoing salary in a trade, rather than 125%.
- Starting in the 2024 offseason, teams above either tax apron will only be permitted to take back up to 100% of their outgoing salary in a trade.
- There will be a limit on how many minimum-salary players can be aggregated for salary-matching purposes during offseason trades.
Two-way and Exhibit 10 contract changes
- Teams will be permitted to carry three players on two-way contracts instead of two. That means the in-season roster limit will increase to 18 players (instead of 17) and the offseason roster limit will be 21 players (instead of 20).
- Players on two-way contracts will have the ability to negotiate with teams to guarantee half of their salaries on the first day of the regular season.
- The maximum bonus for a player who signs an Exhibit 10 contract will be $75K instead of $50K.
Here are the details on how the new CBA will affect the NBA draft:
- A player who is invited to the draft combine and declines to attend without an excused absence will be ineligible to be drafted. He would become eligible the following year by attending the combine. There will be exceptions made for a player whose FIBA season is ongoing, who is injured, or who is dealing with a family matter (such as a tragedy or the birth of a child).
- Players who attend the draft combine will be required to undergo physical exams, share medical history, participate in strength, agility, and performance testing, take part in shooting drills, receive anthropometric measurements, and conduct interviews with teams and the media.
- Medical results from the combine will be distributed to select teams based on where the player is projected to be drafted. The NBA and NBPA intend to agree on a methodology to rank the top 10 prospects in a draft class. Only teams drafting in the top 10 would get access to medical info for the projected No. 1 pick; teams in the top 15 would receive medical info for players in the 2-6 range, while teams in the top 25 would get access to info for the players in the 7-10 range.
- Prospects who forgo college in favor of signing professional contracts with programs like the G League Ignite, Overtime Elite, or the NBL Next Stars will no longer automatically become draft-eligible during the calendar year when they turn 19. Those players now won’t become draft-eligible until they enter of their own accord or until the calendar year when they turn 22.
- The one-and-done rule prohibiting prospects from entering the NBA directly out of high school will not change, despite some speculation to the contrary.
Here are a few more details on the new CBA:
- The NBA G League will hold an annual draft for international players between the ages of 18 and 21 who opt to enter the draft pool.
- Players will no longer be tested for marijuana use.
- Players will be allowed to invest in NBA and WNBA franchises via a private equity firm selected by the NBPA. Individual players won’t be permitted to invest directly in NBA franchises; the NBPA can do so in behalf of all players. Individual players can invest directly in WNBA teams, though they’ll face some restrictions.
- Players will be allowed to promote or invest in companies involved with sports betting and cannabis. However, any involvement with sports betting companies will require “complete separation” from the gambling component.
- Team and league licensing revenue will be added to the NBA’s Basketball Related Income for the first time.
34 thoughts on “Running List Of Changes In NBA’s New Collective Bargaining Agreement”
Lol no more weed testing how about no more drug testing period
How about drugs are made legal? That would probably be a tad more efficient.
Second tax apron? How about enforce the salary cap?
Its like children running the admin at an oil refinery… Doomed to fail if they don’t change this course of gimmicks, and nonsense.
Put a team in Seattle, all this other stuff is a waste of time, but great for gambling profits probably.
The in-season tournament is another pathetic American attempt to imitate European sports culture. Only that European league cup competitions are held between teams from different divisions, featuring clubs that normally would never face one another. These David vs. Goliath matches make league cup competitions so intriguing. The overall winners also have a chance to participate in lucrative and prestigious international contests.
The NBA in-season tournament, on the other hand, includes the exact same teams from a closed franchise circus, that already play multiple games against each other. It’s a greed-driven travesty.
Bingo. No reason to have another tournament between the same teams. One exists already – it’s called the playoffs.
How about a tourney with the top international teams? Get a gauge on the comparative level of play so we could better guess at which foreign prospects might adapt to NBA
You might be correct but Id give it a year to sink in. Play-In was viewed ugly day 1 and I think most people have come around to favor it today
While different, there’s many exciting pro’s to the Euro sports set-ups. A lot, for the same reasons you mentioned. Player buy-in will be key, I’m cautiously pessimistic
why don’t they just do a hard salary cap
Too hard to create loopholes to send reinforcements to the Lakers.
Hard caps only benefit ownership while simultaneously hurting the fans engagement and players bottom line.
I see no point in adding more conditions to the awards. Does only playing 64 games mean you automatically can’t be the most valuable player in the game? Why eveb have it be a vote at this point? Just define some metric that chooses the winner.
The reality is, the biggest issue is all these fat useless tool bag analysts that promote per game stats. All it does is promote laziness and taking games off. We need to be supporting and promoting Total stats over per game stats
I’m thinking the 65 game threshold is more about “load management” games missed than guys who get legit injured and miss 16+ games. Just a theory.
In season T
How many championships in a year?
Old man who can’t play 65 games in a season gets $260 mm super max?
Ladies and Gentleman … Today’s starting lineup for the Charlotte Hornets. Does the In-Season Tournament solve this???
Arguably; those players have relatively low salaries, so they would be more financially incentivized to compete for the 500K bonus.
I’m not suggesting this tournament makes any sense; just pointing that out
In season tournament sounds dumb asf. The only thing I could see being sensible, is a tournament for non playoff teams to determine draft order
That’s a much better idea than what the league is doing.
Luke, does this mean no bump to BAE or mini-mid level (taxpayer), or are they lumped in with the non-taxpayer MLE in this sense?
I need more clarification on that point.
My assumption for now is that “mid-level exception” covers both the non-taxpayer and taxpayer versions and that the bumps reported by Shams will be in addition to the usual cap-adjusted increase (otherwise, given that the cap for next season is expected to increase by more than 8%, it’s weird that they’d prematurely limit the MLE increase to 7.5%, unless they want to bring it down a little closer to the room exception).
More details being reported every day though (including a few since I published this post that I’ll need to add), so we’ll see.
I found it odd there wasn’t at least a 1 yr grace period
From my understanding these enforcements on the top spenders will show there teeth in a mere 3 months
It sounds like there might be a grace period — as noted in that section above, ESPN’s report said those second tax apron changes would be “eased” in, which suggests they won’t all be immediately implemented for 2023/24. Still waiting on specifics though.
another in-season tournament is STUPID. Why must leauge tinker with things that aren’t broken. No one is gonna care about that thing. Are teams gonna start hanging banners in the rafters for an in season tournament championships? Sell apperal ( hats, pennants, shirts) ??? I’m being sarcastic, but a small part of me thinks whatever team wins the 1st one will definitely make a big deal about it
There will be hats and t-shirts no matter who wins the first one…
And if it’s a team like the Hornets where they have nothing to show for in the shape of banners, they’ll definitely hang a banner for it. .
I’ll give a year feeling out the tournament before commenting but my gut tells me its going to prove fruitless
Some big whiffs imo on what coulda happened
* Surprised they went so hard after the top spenders
* Even WORSE disappointed the lack of effort to clean up the bottom of the pond, I get the NBA is more geared towards an NFL parity than MLB frontrunner approach- But rewarding, or not trying to deter putting a weak product on the floor isn’t good for the game . This wasn’t really touched on at all this CBA, missed opportunity. Just a simple (even more) diluted lottery ball count night of coulda put a good foot forward
* Also found it strange they didn’t give a grace year for the top spenders to use exceptions as its really putting an immediate burden on those teams mid range plans unexpectedly. Draymond had some good points in his rant, lotta PLAYERS going to lose money on this 7 year CBA deal. Yes the sport is growing and salaries rising but the owners (w Silver) are doing a good job keeping the roofs low
The NEW NBA CBA is just more of the SOS.
Raise more revenue by implementing this
Modify contract terms based on that
Two Way Contracts
10 Day Contracts
Veteran Minimum Contracts
Tax Payer Mid-Level Exemption
Mid Level Exemption
Tax Apron #01
Tax Apron #02
Luxury Tax Bracket
Veteran Contract Exemption
Game Appearance Threshold
Rookie Minimum Contract
Restricted Free Agent
Designated Rookie Contract
Designated Veteran Contract
Minimum Roster Limit
Maximum Roster Limit
One and Done Rule
Draft and Stash
Hey NBA, if you are trying to outdo the IRS regulations for complexity, you are on the right track.
KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid
Just scrap the whole thing with all of it’s bogus exemptions, exemptions and create one simple, straight forward, basic contract that applies to every team and every player.
It is a sport for heavens sake.
Do we REALLY need to keep creating more jobs for:
(Same logic applies to the IRS)
If you think every player in the NBA should make the same wage…. you and I live on two different planets lol… also … if they did all had “one simple, straight forward, basic contract” every free agent would sign with teams in texas and florida and no where else (its an extra 15% value on their contract because of taxes)
I did not mean to suggest that every player play for the exact same dollar contract. What I intended was that all the various exemptions and exceptions be eliminated. There is a cap. That is what you can spend. PERIOD.
Also… you just pulled off being both extremely right wing conservative and left wing communist in the same post somehow lol… abolish all regulators and experts (right wing ideal)… every has to play for the same contract (literal communism lol)
“to be eligible to be earn” blunder!
2 thoughts on this … 1) the in season tournament is gonna get players hurt and ruin teams actual seasons… and for what… Adam Silver’s ego? This has literally never made any sense… we already have an all-star game in season …. 2) This new CBA just elected Erik Spoelstra to the hall of fame, and increased Chris Bosh’s all time legacy…. making the All-NBA teams “positionless” just cemented Spo’s legacy (he invented positionless basketball with the 2011-12 Miami Heat) and proved what Bosh’s actual worth was when a post up PF turned into a spread the floor 3pt shooting 5. The NBA just justified the “big three” heat as a dynasty with this move as well IMO.
Do we know when the new CBA will be published so that everyone can know what’s what? All we see now is info coming out in dribs and drabs.
Not sure. Given that July 1 is just over a month away, I hope it’ll be soon! We still don’t really know for sure which changes are taking effect this year and which are being phased in.
Thanks, Luke. Kind of what I thought.