In 2011, NBA owners and players agreed the No. 30 pick in the 2016 draft would earn up to $1,171,560 the following season.
Little did they know the salary cap would skyrocket to $94,143,000 due to lucrative new national TV contracts – leaving the No. 30 pick earning just 1.24% of the cap.
That created an absurd situation where some second-rounders earned more than scaled first-rounders.
No. 31 pick Deyonta Davis and No. 45 pick Demetrius Jackson pick will earn more than first-rounders this year. Other second-rounders used their increased relative leverage to secure more guaranteed money over the duration of their contracts.
But the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will prevent these absurd situations. The previous CBA set exact annual amounts for mid-level, bi-annual, minimum-salary and rookie exceptions. The new CBA will determine those exception values organically.
Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post:
A new CBA offers an opportunity to reset the exception amounts to appropriate levels. So, using preset exception values for the next 6-7 years would probably turn out fine.
But this allows the system to work as intended even with major unforeseen increases or decreases in revenue.
This is probably only correcting for a fluke occurrence that bit the league once, but better to have learned than not. There is no harm, only upside, in tying exceptions to the cap.