National Basketball Players Association

One-And-Done Rule Not Expected To Change In New CBA

Facing an opt-out deadline of midnight Eastern time on Friday night, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association continue to discuss a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

If the two sides do reach an agreement today, the next CBA won’t change the “one-and-done” rule for draft prospects, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links). Discussions about that rule are no longer taking part of the CBA negotiations, Woj says.

The one-and-done rule, established in 2005, prohibits NBA hopefuls from entering the draft directly out of high school. Those players must wait a year before declaring for the NBA draft. As a result, many of the top prospects have become known as “one-and-done” players, since they spend just one year at college (or elsewhere) before making themselves draft-eligible.

Players used to be able to enter the draft directly out of high school – LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett were among the stars who did so – and there was some speculation in recent years that the NBA and NBPA would once again allow that to happen as part of the new CBA.

However, ESPN has been reporting for quite some time that no changes to the one-and-done rule are imminent, despite rumors the contrary, and it appears that’s still the case.

As Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter links) observes, there’s not a lot of motivation among teams, team owners, or players to change the rule. Giving NBA teams the ability to draft even younger players would make scouting more challenging and would eliminate jobs for veteran players.

According to Givony, while some people in the industry have had moral concerns about “forcing” 18-year-olds to attend college instead of beginning their professional careers, the emergence of alternate professional pathways to the NBA (ie. the G League Ignite and Overtime Elite) and NIL deals for college players have helped allay many of those concerns.

The NBA and NBPA both hope that a tentative agreement on a new CBA can be reached before tonight’s deadline, Wojnarowski notes. If there’s no deal in place by the end of the day, the league is expected to exercise its opt-out clause, which would move the expiry date of the current CBA up by one year to June 30, 2023. The two sides would still have three months to agree to a new CBA to avoid a lockout on July 1.

And-Ones: NBPA, Dooling, A. Anderson, Officiating, Elam Ending

Celtics forward Grant Williams, formerly a vice president for the National Basketball Players Association, has been elected as the first vice president of the players’ union, per a press release. Williams will take over that role from Andre Iguodala, whose four-year term has expired following his election in 2019.

Since Williams was promoted to first vice president and Kyrie Irving‘s term as an NBPA vice president expired, two new VPs were elected to the union’s executive committee — those new vice presidents are Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. and Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, who will serve three-year terms.

“We are thrilled to have Grant in this elevated position, and we welcome Jaren and Donovan to the executive committee,” NBPA president CJ McCollum said in a statement. “Their experience and ability to connect with the younger players in our league will be imperative as we move forward as a union. I also want to take a moment to thank Andre and Kyrie for their service. Kyrie’s insights have been invaluable since he joined us in 2020, and Andre has been been a key leader for us for more than a decade. Their leadership will be missed but we know they will stay close and continue to support us as we work for the best interests of the brotherhood.”

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

  • Former NBA players Keyon Dooling and Alan Anderson have received prison sentences of 30 months and 24 months, respectively, for their roles in defrauding the NBA’s health and welfare plan, according to Steve Gardner of USA Today. Anderson was one of 18 players originally arrested in 2021 for making fraudulent claims, while Dooling – a former NBPA vice president who was most recently an assistant coach with the Jazz – later had his name added to the criminal case.
  • Before holding his annual All-Star news conference on Saturday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver also appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter this week to discuss concerns about load management and officiating, among other topics (YouTube video link). Silver stated that the NBA is exploring ways to use technology to automate certain calls (ie. who last touched an out-of-bounds ball) so that referees can focus more on the more subjective calls they’re required to make (ie. fouls).
  • Tim Bontemps of ESPN takes a deep dive into the “Elam Ending,” exploring how Nick Elam first came up with the concept and detailing the path it took to being adopted in the NBA’s All-Star Game (as well as the G League’s overtime period).

NBA, NBPA Likely To Extend CBA Opt-Out Deadline

There’s a good chance that the February 8 deadline for either the league or the National Basketball Players Association to opt out of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement will be pushed back once again, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said during a press conference in Paris, France on Thursday that negotiations are ongoing. NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio was also in Paris for the Bulls-Pistons game but the negotiations were taking place in the U.S.

“Our colleagues are back in New York, negotiating as we speak,” Silver said. “They’ve been meeting all week, just going issue by issue and trying to work through those issues that separate us. I would say, though, that I think we start from a very strong foundation.”

The original opt-out date was December 15 but the league’s Board of Governors and the Players Association agreed to an extension.

“There’s a strong sense of partnership between the players and the league,” Silver said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t have disagreements.”

The current CBA, which went into effect in 2017, runs through the 2023/24 season. However, the league and the players’ union hold a mutual option to terminate that agreement at the end of the ’22/23 league year (June 30).

It’s expected that the new labor agreement will allow players to enter the draft straight out of high school. The current rule in which players must be 19 years old or be one year removed from high school was instituted in 2006.

The league’s owners have been pushing an “upper spending limit” that would significantly tighten the rules on how much teams can spend each year on their roster, effectively serving as a hard cap to replace the current luxury tax system.

NBA, NBPA Will Push Back CBA Opt-Out Deadline

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have agreed to extend the deadline to opt out of the league’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links).

The NBA and NBPA have been engaged in negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, but will need more time to find common ground on all the issues being discussed.

The current CBA, which went into effect in 2017, runs through the 2023/24 season. However, the league and the players’ union hold a mutual option to terminate that agreement at the end of the ’22/23 league year. The deadline for either side to exercise that opt-out clause had been next Thursday (December 15), but it will be pushed into the new year, according to Wojnarowski.

Sources tell ESPN that the new opt-out deadline is expected to land sometime in February. The exact date will be finalized at next Wednesday’s Board of Governors meeting, Woj adds.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter), when the two sides negotiated the current CBA back in 2016, they postponed the opt-out deadline by nearly a month – to January 13, 2017 – despite reaching an agreement in mid-December, since it took some time to ratify the new deal. So if negotiations continue into February, it’s possible another extension would be necessary.

Although the NBA and the players’ union have been widely expected to work out a new agreement without any sort of work stoppage, the league has reportedly been pushing harder this time around for the implementation of an “upper spending limit,” which would function like a hard cap. The players’ side has been adamantly opposed to the idea.

And-Ones: Rookie Rankings, MVP Ratings, Tremaglio, Officiating

Top pick Paolo Banchero has missed some games due to an ankle sprain but the top pick of the draft still leads ESPN Jonathan Givony’s rookie power rankings (Insider link). The Magic forward was averaging 21.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game entering the week. The sixth overall pick, the Pacers’ Bennedict Mathurin, sits in second place while averaging 18.5 points off the bench. Pistons guard Jaden Ivey (15.9 points, 4.3 assists) holds the No. 3 spot.

We have more NBA-related info:

  • Celtics forward Jayson Tatum tops USA Today/Gannett staffers’ early-season Most Valuable Player ratings, propelled by Boston’s strong start. Tatum entered Monday’s action ranked fifth in the league in scoring (30.7). Former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo holds the runner-up spot with the Suns’ Devin Booker in third place.
  • Negotiating the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the first time, National Basketball Players Association executive director Tamika Tremaglio is leaning on players agents to determine the best course of action, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal reports. Tremaglio has reached out to all NBPA-certified agents for advice and is having frequent discussions with the most influential agents. One likely point of contention is the NBA’s desire for a stronger upper limit on player salaries, which some agents view as a hard cap.
  • Traveling calls are piling up, culminating in 13 such turnovers during the CavaliersKnicks game on Sunday. Carrying and palming calls are also on the rise. “My job as the head coach — for lack of a better description — of our team, is to make sure that the rule book is being enforced,” the NBA’s senior vice president of referee development and training, Monty McCutchen, said to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “And when we emphasize traveling and sequencing and it picks up another part of footwork, then it needs to be adjudicated properly.”

Latest On Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving, who has been suspended for the Nets‘ last four games after sharing antisemitic content, has met with the team, the NBA, and the National Basketball Players Association on “several occasions” in recent days, the NBPA told players in an email obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), the players’ union said in that email that Irving’s rights “have been protected at every turn” and that “the NBPA “(looks) forward very soon to a resolution of all matters satisfactory to all parties.” The memo also reiterated that both the NBPA and Irving “unequivocally condemn antisemitism and all other forms of hate.”

When the Nets initially announced Irving’s suspension, the team stated the ban would cover at least five games, so the guard will miss Saturday’s contest against the Clippers. In theory, he could accompany the Nets on their four-game road trip and suit up as early as Sunday vs. the Lakers.

However, head coach Jacque Vaughn told reporters today that there’s no update on Irving and that he still hasn’t talked to the seven-time All-Star (Twitter link via Nick Friedell of ESPN), so it remains unclear if he’ll play in any of the games out west. According to Wojnarowski (Twitter link), there’s “skepticism” that Irving will return to action on Sunday, and it’s not a lock he’ll be back on Tuesday vs. Sacramento either.

Shortly after Vaughn spoke to the media, Nets owner Joe Tsai put out a statement announcing that he and his wife (and Nets co-owner) Clara Wu Tsai met with Irving and his family on Thursday.

“We spent quality time to understand each other and it’s clear to me that Kyrie does not have any beliefs of hate towards Jewish people or any group,” Tsai said (Twitterlinks). “The Nets and Kyrie, together with the NBA and NBPA, are working constructively toward a process of forgiveness, healing and education.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver conveyed a similar message on Thursday, telling Sopan Deb of The New York Times that he doesn’t believe Irving is antisemitic.

“We had a direct and candid conversation,” Silver said. “He’s someone I’ve known for a decade, and I’ve never heard an antisemitic word from him or, frankly, hate directed at any group … (But) whether or not he is antisemitic is not relevant to the damage caused by the posting of hateful content.”

While none of the latest comments and reports shed any real light on when Irving might play again for the Nets, most of them seem to point toward it happening sooner or later. That’s a change in tone from what we hearing at the start of the week, when one report indicated there was “growing pessimism” in some corners of the league that Kyrie would ever play for Brooklyn again.

Here’s more on Irving:

  • Two sources told Ian Begley of (Twitter link) that Thursday’s meeting between Irving and the Tsais was “very positive,” which bodes well for his chances of returning to the team.
  • Irving’s teammates Royce O’Neale and Nic Claxton both told reporters on Friday that they’ve been in touch with Irving and he has been in good spirits (Twitter links via Friedell).
  • After saying last week that he didn’t condone Irving’s actions, LeBron James came to the defense of his former teammate on Thursday, tweeting that Irving has apologized and should be allowed to return to the court. “What he’s (been) asked to do to get back on the floor I think is excessive,” James wrote. “He’s not the person that’s being portrayed of him.”
  • As Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press writes, Nike co-founder Phil Knight told CNBC on Thursday that the relationship between Nike and Irving is likely over for good. “Kyrie stepped over the line,” Knight said. “It’s kind of that simple. He made some statements that we just can’t abide by and that’s why we ended the relationship. And I was fine with that.”

Nets Notes: Durant, Nash, Simmons, Irving, Udoka

Nets forward Kevin Durant said on Tuesday night that he was surprised to learn of Steve Nash‘s exit from his position as Brooklyn’s head coach, as Nick Friedell of ESPN writes.

“You’re always shocked when a move like this happens,” Durant said after the Nets’ loss to Chicago. “But it’s normal in the NBA. It’s about getting ready for the game tonight. It’s a quick turn always in the league, especially during the season. You’ve got practice, games coming up, so you can’t think too much about it. It was on my mind for a little bit today.”

As Friedell notes, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters earlier in the day on Tuesday that he hadn’t consulted with Durant and/or Kyrie Irving before making the decision to part ways with Nash. Durant’s comments seemed to confirm that was true.

Asked why he felt like things didn’t work out with Nash in Brooklyn, Durant didn’t blame his former head coach for the team’s shortcomings, even though offseason reports indicated that he had pushed for Nash’s firing.

“We didn’t have a healthy team. We just didn’t play well,” Durant said. “And that’s what happens in the league. S–t happens. That doesn’t take away from Steve’s basketball IQ, how he teaches the game. I don’t think that takes away from anything. It just didn’t work out.”

Asked in Miami about Nash’s departure, Steve Kerr – one of the NBA’s longest-tenured head coaches – essentially agreed with Durant’s assessment, referring to Nash as “brilliant” and suggesting that the former MVP could thrive in a more “stable environment,” according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link).

“Erik’s got a (solid situation) here,” Kerr said, referring to Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. “I’ve got one in Golden State. We’re really lucky. You throw either one of us in that situation, we wouldn’t have done any better than Steve. That’s the truth.”

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Ian Begley of, who previously reported that the Nets had briefly engaged in “cursory” trade talks with a Western Conference team, says those discussions were about a veteran shooter, adding that Ben Simmons‘ name came up. While Begley cautions that those talks may not have advanced beyond the exploratory stage, he says Brooklyn was rumored to be “aggressive” in its pursuit of shooting.
  • Like the NBA did on Saturday, the National Basketball Players Association issued a fairly toothless statement on Tuesday, condemning antisemitism in general terms without mentioning NBPA vice president Irving by name or specifically rebuking his promotion of an antisemitic film on social media.
  • During Tuesday’s TNT broadcast, broadcaster and former NBA star Reggie Miller called out the players’ response to the Irving situation, expressing dissatisfaction that there has been silence from players who haven’t hesitated to speak out on other social justice issues, writes Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post. “The players have dropped the ball on this case when it’s been one of their own. It’s been crickets,” Miller said after lauding the players’ criticism of owners like Donald Sterling and Robert Sarver. “And it’s disappointing, because this league has been built on the shoulders of the players being advocates. Right is right and wrong is wrong.”
  • If the Nets move forward with their reported plan to hire Ime Udoka as their new head coach, it could be another landmine for the franchise, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post, who notes that the full story on Udoka’s off-court conduct in Boston still hasn’t come out publicly. As Lewis relays, a league insider told NetsDaily that Udoka “repeatedly” sent inappropriate messages to women on the Celtics‘ staff.
  • Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports makes the case that the best play for the dysfunctional Nets would be to trade Durant.
  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst passes along all of Sean Marks‘ noteworthy statements from his Tuesday media session, attempting to read between the lines of those comments.

NBA Pushing For League-Wide Hard Cap; NBPA Strongly Opposed

The NBA is pursuing a league-wide hard cap as part of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement, according to Adrian Wojnarowski at ESPN and Marc Stein at Substack. However, the idea is viewed as essentially a non-starter by the National Basketball Players Association, per Wojnarowski and Stein.

“There will be a lockout before there’s a hard cap,” a source from the players’ side told Stein.

Currently, individual teams can hard-cap themselves if they acquire a player via sign-and-trade, use their bi-annual exception, or use more than the taxpayer portion of the mid-level exception, as we outline in our glossary entry.

In that scenario, the team are prohibited from surpassing the threshold known as the “tax apron,” which is several million dollars above the luxury tax line. In 2022/23, the tax apron is $156,983,000, while the tax line is $150,267,000.

[RELATED: NBA Teams With Hard Caps For 2022/23]

However, teams that only use the taxpayer portion of the MLE – and don’t acquire a player via sign-and-trade or the BAE – technically have no limit on how much they can spend on payroll. A club faces increasingly punitive luxury tax penalties the further its team salary goes beyond the tax line, but as long as ownership is willing to pay those penalties, there’s no spending limit.

The league is looking to change that by essentially replacing the current luxury tax system with a hard cap for all teams. According to Stein, the NBA is referring to the concept as the “upper spending limit” (USL) in an attempt to avoid the stigma associated with the term “hard cap.”

As Wojnarowski explains, the NBA believes that the current system creates imbalance by allowing for such a disparity between the league’s highest- and lowest-spending teams — the thinking is that a hard limit would help even the playing field, with the league arguing that a more competitive field would result in higher revenues.

According to both Stein and Wojnarowski, support for the idea isn’t unanimous among the NBA’s 30 teams. Some are concerned that an “upper spending limit” would prevent teams from keeping well-constructed rosters together long-term, even if team ownership is willing to pay a luxury tax penalty to avoid breaking them up.

As Stein observes, the Warriors‘ ever-growing payroll is considered a major factor in spurring these discussions. After paying a record-setting $170MM+ in tax penalties last season, Golden State is on pace to break that record in 2022/23 and shatter it again in ’23/24.

While the divide between the NBA and NBPA on the issue of a hard cap is ominous, Wojnarowski points out that the two sides often use the early stages of CBA negotiations to “float wish lists.” It’s possible that the league doesn’t seriously expect to get the players union’s approval for this concept and will ultimately relent, perhaps if the union agrees to give ground on another issue.

The league’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement runs through the 2023/24 season, but the NBA and NBPA each have the ability to opt out by December 15 of this year. If one side opts out, the CBA would instead expire on June 30, 2023. The two sides’ goal is to reach an agreement sometime in the next month-and-a-half.

Here are a few other points of emphasis for the NBA in the early stages of CBA negotiations, according to Wojnarowski:

  • Finding a way to incentivize top players to sit out fewer regular season games.
  • Working out a cap “smoothing” plan in advance of the NBA’s next television deal to avoid another big single-year spike like the one that occurred in 2016.
  • Instituting rules that prevent agents from picking and choosing the teams to whom they supply a prospect’s physical and medical information during the pre-draft process.
  • Implementing some “minimal requirements” related to participation and presence in the draft combine for top prospects.

NBA, NBPA Discussing Next Collective Bargaining Agreement

The NBA, led by commissioner Adam Silver, has already engaged in “extensive talks” with the National Basketball Players Association, led by executive director Tamika Tremaglio, about the league’s next Collective Bargaining Agreement, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The NBA’s current CBA runs through the 2023/24 season, but both the league and the players’ union have the ability to opt out of the agreement before then. If either side exercises its opt-out clause by December 15 of this year, the CBA will instead expire on June 30, 2023.

There’s no indication at this point that the NBA is headed toward a lockout. Charania describes the conversations to date as “positive” and says top officials from the league and the union will hold an important in-person meeting next week.

According to Charania, one area of focus for the NBPA in negotiations with the league is the idea of creating lasting equity for its players beyond their standard contract earnings.

“Creating generational wealth is critically important in this next chapter of the union. … We know that the uncertain lifespan (of an NBA career) makes it crucial to plan for what happens after the ball stops bouncing — creating this generational wealth,” Tremaglio told The Athletic. “Thinking about the players’ contributions to the game and how they can be compensated for it will mean there will have to be more equity structures in place.

“It could be the sale of a team. It could be the deals they are entering where they are receiving equity beyond the four or five years that a contract exists. It’s much broader, and I don’t think historically we’ve looked at it. It’s been the here and now.”

Here are a few other issues the two sides are discussing, per Charania:

  • The NBA and NBPA are expected to allow players to enter the draft at age 18 instead of age 19. That would reopen the door for top high school prospects to directly enter the NBA rather than having to spend a year playing in college or in a non-NBA league.
  • The NBA and NBPA are discussing the idea of including mental health designations on injury reports similar to the way that physical injuries are reported, as well as expanding the mental health treatment options provided by teams.
  • The league and some team owners are in favor of introducing more punitive luxury tax penalties. It’s unclear whether changes to the luxury tax system will be mere tweaks or could be more wide-ranging, but Charania says some team executives believe it will be the biggest issue to resolve in the CBA negotiations.

And-Ones: Brown, Brogdon, Biyombo, Udoka, Snyder, Russia, Smith

Jaylen Brown, Malcolm Brogdon and Bismack Biyombo have been re-elected as VPs on the National Basketball Players Association’s Executive Committee, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. They’ll serve new three-year terms, according to the players’ union.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The Celtics’ Ime Udoka and Jazz‘s Quin Snyder were named Coaches of the Month for February, NBA Communications tweets. Boston had a 9-2 record during the month, while Utah went 8-1.
  • In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the NBA has suspended all activities in Russia, Mark J. Burns of the Sports Business Journal tweets. According to Burns’ source, that includes activities related to content distribution such as digital and broadcast. There is no timeline on when business activities will resume in Russia.
  • Forward Roscoe Smith, who has appeared in 149 G League games, has signed in Palestine with Orthodoxi Beit Jala, agent Derek James of Global Pipeline Agency told JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link).