The NBA Has a New Collective Bargaining Agreement—Here's What You Need To Know
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The NBA Has a New Collective Bargaining Agreement—Here’s What You Need To Know

(Photo: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

On April 1st, the NBA and the National Basketball Player’s Association agreed to terms for a new collective bargaining agreement with some pretty interesting features.

The NBA CBA will introduce news ways of doing business between the league, its players, and the 30 teams. On the docket were changes to salary caps and luxury taxes as well as a mid-season tournament that’s long been discussed as possibility.

Basketball fans, gather round, here’s what’s in store for the coming seasons:

The midseason tournament

Though there is no guaranteed timeline, some analysts say that a mid-season tournament, that in some ways mirrors the WNBA’s Commissioner’s Cup, could happen as soon as the 2023-2024 season. The preliminary games would essentially be designated regular season games with eight teams advancing to a knockout stage. The in-season tournament would include a prize purse of $500,000 per player on the winning team.

Bigger contract extensions

The idea behind allowing for larger contract extensions, is to give smaller markets a better chance at keeping their marquee players from going to bigger markets with more financial leverage. The new rules, which would allow players to re-sign with their current teams at up to 140% of value of their current contract. would be a 20% increase from the previous agreement.

Players can invest in cannabis

It remains to be seen what this will actually look like and what all the rules will be but this is a pretty major deal. Not only will cannabis be 100% eradicated from the league’s drug-testing program, but players will be permitted to advocate publicly for cannabis-related brands, either as investors, endorsement partners, or both.

Players can pursue investments into NBA and WNBA teams

Could we be looking at the first step into producing current and future NBA billionaires? With a process that’s sure to be heavily managed to ensure no conflict of interest when it comes to players moving from team to team, we could start to see some players making moves to invest in and, eventually, own NBA and WNBA teams. This also plays into another part of the agreement: revenue sharing.

A boost in “basketball-related income”

Basketball related income or “BRI” is a pool of earnings split 50/50 between owners and players. With the new CBA it will also include money generated from official team and league licensing deals for the first time.

Also included in the latest deal are: a second luxury tax apron—ensuring teams with leverage are not fleecing the rest of the league during trade season, a load management crackdown for seasonal awards; flexibility for middle- and low-tier spending teams, and changes to the terms of restricted free agency.


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