The NBPA told agents in a meeting on Monday that it will actively look into the 76ers’ handling of the CBA, such as salary distributions, the cap floor and contract format loopholes. For the NBPA, Philadelphia’s approach over the past several seasons may not be a technical violation of collective bargaining as much as it is one of the spirit of negotiating under the CBA.
An NBPA spokesperson confirmed Tuesday the union’s plan to pursue the 76ers’ issue if there is a violation found.
I’m not sure what “salary distributions,” means but it could be related to distributing money under the salary floor to players. That’s the penalty for failing to reach the floor – paying your players the shortfall.
But the 76ers didn’t fall below the floor. They used a loophole by claiming Thomas Robinson off waivers. They paid Robinson the partial salary he was due the rest of the season and counted his full-season salary toward the floor, as mandated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The CBA also handles player contracts, including rookie tenders. To keep the rights to a second-round pick, a team must offer him a one-year contract (in effect, unguaranteed for the minimum salary). Philadelphia has wisely simultaneously offered four-year deals with unguaranteed seasons tacked on the end. Those deals give the player guaranteed money up front in exchange for team-friendly terms on the back end. But a player always has the option of taking his required tender, as K.J. McDaniels did.
These strategies probably bother the players and their agents. That’s reasonable.
But the solution is not trumped-up charges against the 76ers. It’s changing the language of the CBA when it ends.