Labor peace continues in the NBA.
They had to push back the deadline twice — then miss the latest deadline by a couple of hours — to get it done, but the NBA owners and the National Basketball Players Association have come to terms on a new seven-year Collective Bargaining Agreement, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and confirmed by the NBA (at 3 a.m. Eastern).
While votes of both the owners and players need to ratify the new deal, it is expected to pass quickly and without controversy. The NBA continues to grow rapidly (particularly internationally) and is in the midst of negotiating a new national television and streaming deal expected to more than double television revenue flowing into the league (money split between the owners and players). Ultimately, nobody wanted to risk killing the golden goose with a labor stoppage.
Here are some of the reported key points of the new CBA:
• There will be a new mid-season tournament, mostly played before Christmas. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has pushed for this, looking to add interest and put more meaning into regular season games.
• Players must take the floor in at least 65 games to be eligible for postseason awards, such as MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. The idea is to motivate players (and teams) to get their best players in more games and limit load management. This rule will not kick in until next season (at the earliest) but if in place this season it would keep Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Ja Morant and others off an All-NBA team.
• The one-and-done rule remains as the NBA is not changing its minimum age requirement to be drafted (one year after a player’s class graduates high school).
• Players will no longer face discipline from the league for marijuana use. It had already been taken out of the league’s drug testing program.
• There are changes to the luxury tax, particularly for the highest-spending teams, something detailed first by ESPN. It will involve adding a second tax apron — 17.5 million over the tax line — and teams above it will no longer have access to the taxpayer mid-level exception. This rule is targeted at the highest-spending teams (the Clippers and Warriors this season, the Nets were on that track before blowing up the roster.
• However, teams in the middle and on the bottom of payroll spending will have expanded opportunities (to spend more) in free agency, or to generate larger trade exceptions for other deals.
• Veteran contract extensions will be able to start at 140% of the last year of the existing contract, up from 120% in the current CBA. That will allow more teams to offer larger extensions and keep key players.
• Teams will gain a third two-way contact slot.
More details will be added as they become available.