June 11, 2023

NBA, NBPA reach tentative agreement, agree on major changes

NBA, NBPA reach tentative agreement, agree on major changes
Art by One Sports

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) needed overtime, but it appears they have reached an agreement for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

Negotiations for another labor deal were supposed to end on Friday midnight, U.S. time, but both parties agreed to extend that discussion—until they ultimately sealed a tentative deal in place. The nearly last-minute agreement between the NBA and NBPA means the possibility of another lockout, as what happened in 2011 and way back in 1998, has been averted, and the league will proceed uninterrupted through at least the next seven seasons.

Per reports from NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski for ESPN, negotiators from both parties led by NBA commissioner Adam Silver and New Orleans Pelicans guard and NBPA president CJ McCollum hammered out the fine print of the tentative agreement after agreeing on several key points. Among these key points are as follows:

  • The league will implement a second salary cap layer—to be set at $17.5 million over the tax threshold—that will prevent “rich” teams from running up the bill to stock up on talent. This new rule will, among other things, remove the taxpayer mid-level exception and prohibit teams from signing free agents from the buyout market.
  • Players will need to play a minimum of 65 games to be eligible for the end-of-season awards, like the MVP and All-NBA selections. This proposed rule change is aimed at curbing the growing practice of load management and incentivize the league’s stars to play in as many games as possible.
  • The league will institute an in-season tournament, possibly as early as next year, with the winners to receive lucrative cash prizes. But it is structured in such a way that teams will, at the most, play one additional regular season game only, as the games of this proposed mini-tourney will already count as regular season games.
  • The upper limits of contract extensions will be raised from 120% to 140%. This means soon-to-be free agents like the Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown stand to gain more money in case of an extension.

The agreement, again, is tentative, though both the NBA and NBPA have announced it. It will reportedly be ratified by the players and league governors sometime in the weeks ahead.