And-Ones: Hard Cap, New CBA, All-Star Game, Top FAs

NBA teams become hard-capped at the tax apron when they either acquire a player via sign-and-trade, use more than the taxpayer portion of the mid-level exception, or use the bi-annual exception. According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report (Twitter link), there will be a fourth way that clubs can hard-cap themselves next season — they won’t be able to spend above the first tax apron if they take back more than 110% of the salary they send out in a trade during the 2023/24 league year.

In a full story for Bleacher Report, Pincus takes a more comprehensive look at which teams will be most impacted by the increased spending restrictions that will be implemented starting next season as a result of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

While it’s no surprise that the Warriors and Clippers will be among the clubs most adversely impacted, Pincus also names the Hawks, Pelicans, and Heat that will have to be careful about their team salaries going forward. A Pelicans team source tells Bleacher Report that there’s “a zero percent chance” New Orleans will be able to keep its entire core intact through 2025/26, with young players like Trey Murphy, Herbert Jones, and Jose Alvarado due for raises in the coming years.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Appearing on NBA Countdown on ESPN prior to Game 3 of the Finals (YouTube link), commissioner Adam Silver didn’t close the door on the possibility of the league pitting a U.S. team against an international team in the All-Star Game down the road. As Silver explained, the NBA has historically shied away from that idea due to the imbalance in the two player pools, but the recent success enjoyed by international stars has put it back on the league’s radar.
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic ranks the top 25 free agents of 2023 using his BORD$ formula, with Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Fred VanVleet leading the way.
  • The NBA is considering using technology to automate out-of-bounds and goaltending calls late in games and will test that technology in this July’s summer leagues, NBA president of basketball operations Byron Spruell confirmed this week (link via Tim MacMahon of Spruell added that the league hopes to eventually have its referees focusing more on subjective rulings than the objective ones that could become automated.
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