The WNBA and its players union have reached a landmark labor deal, announcing the tentative eight-year agreement today, as Doug Feinberg of The Associated Press outlines.
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement will increase the average and maximum salaries for players while enhancing standards and benefits related to travel and maternity leave. The deal, which has been approved by players and still must be ratified by owners, includes a 50-50 revenue sharing split beginning in 2021.
“I call it historic,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “The CBA guarantees substantial (financial) increases. The way we are paying these players is different than the past. … The top couple players are tripling (in pay) where they were. Other players are making $200-300K. The average will be over $130K. Everyone gets an increase here.”
The WNBA is also introducing a mid-season competition called the Commissioner’s Cup, per Mechelle Voepel of ESPNW. The event could be a mini-preview of what’s to come in the NBA, where commissioner Adam Silver has pushed the idea of an in-season tournament.
“We will designate Cup games the first half of the season leading into the Olympic break this year,” Engelbert said. “And then [for] the two teams with the best records, we will have a final in August as our first game back to re-launch the season. In 2020, the cash prizes will be more moderate, but in 2021, we’re going to step them up as we seek sponsors.”
Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Dwyane Wade is taking on a “significant” role with CAA Sports, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Wade and CAA announced today that they’ve partnered to create CAA AMP, a cultural strategy agency within CAA’s brand consulting division, per Liz Mullen of SportsBusines Journal (Twitter link). It’ll be a busy year for Wade, who will also appear on TNT and CBS Sports as an NBA and NCAA commentator.
- With Wednesday’s deadline for two-way signings looming, Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link) identifies Dakota Mathias and Kaiser Gates as potential candidates for two-way contracts. Fischer also mentioned Marquese Chriss just before word broke that Chriss would be signing a two-way deal with Golden State.
- John Hollinger of The Athletic explores which under-the-radar trade candidates teams should be pursuing as the deadline approaches, listing Derrick Rose, Nemanja Bjelica, and Dennis Schroder as targets that would make sense.