Players smile, sign-and-trade seems to be part of new CBA

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If there was one thing I thought small market owners would fight to keep out of the new NBA labor deal it was the sign-and-trade. It’s what LeBron James and Chris Bosh had after-the-fact. It can be used to hold a smaller market hostage. The player gets his money and his ticket to a new team (although the original team does get something back rather than just lose a player to free agency).

But in all the tweets following the lockout yesterday was this from ESPN’s Marc Stein (something later confirmed by NBA.com’s David Aldridge and others).

Example of “system” issue where NBA owners/players now agree? Sign-and-trades. WILL be allowed in new deal after fears they’d be outlawed

Players love the sign-and-trade — move to a preferred team and still get the old-team extra money? You bet they are down with that.

Sign-and-trades favor the wealthy teams, allowing them to bring in high priced deals that will be around a while. Which is why I’m surprised it survived. Maybe there are enough provisions in whatever the new luxury tax will be that the owners feel safe it can’t be abused. For example, Stein suggests whether luxury-tax paying teams would be allowed to use it to bring in more talent remains to be seen.

But it looks like it will be back.