The NBA In Season Tournament Is Coming And Other Takeaways From The New Collective Bargaining Agreement
The good news is there will be no lockout in the NBA for the foreseeable future. Both the league and the NBPA came to an agreement last night
which now has things locked up for basically the rest of the 2020s. That's great considering how awesome the league is right now, a work stoppage would have been such a bummer.
Within this new CBA, we got a couple of details that you could make the case will change the landscape of the NBA from here on out, or at least until the next negotiations. Let's dive through the big ones
Games played minimum for awards
We got whispers of this idea a few weeks ago, and I can't see how a single person would think it's a bad idea. If you want to win an award, you have to play. If you get hurt? That stinks. If you want to load manage? OK, but then don't go all Bam Adebayo and cry for 3 years that you didn't win DPOY when you didn't play enough games. Maybe you could make the case that 65 is even a little too low and that number should be closer to 70, but at least they established a baseline.
Not only that, but we're FINALLY getting positionless all NBA!
All this stuff, whether it's All Star, All NBA, awards etc, should have a games played requirement. We as fans want to see the best players on the floor as much as possible, and I think this helps us get there, especially with the players who care about winning awards. In terms of All NBA, this has been long overdue. It positions shouldn't matter, just give us the 15 best players that season. If one of the teams has 2 centers? Who cares! If the 2nd team is all wings? Awesome! The fact that it took this long is pretty embarrassing anyway but thankfully those days are over.
In season tournament
You may think this is a terrible idea, but it's coming. There's no running from it now
The in-season tournament could arrive as soon as the 2023-24 season. The event will include pool-play games baked into the regular-season schedule starting in November -- with eight teams advancing to a single-elimination tournament in December. The Final Four will be held at a neutral site, with Las Vegas prominent in the discussion, sources said
Each in-season tournament game would count toward regular-season standings; the two finalists would ultimately play an 83rd game that would not count in the regular season. Winning players and coaches will earn additional prize money.
When I first heard of this idea I didn't really see the point, but I've been playing a shit ton of FIFA lately and it's kind of changed my view. This in theory might help make the early season games more meaningful, and 500k isn't exactly chump change. I can see this not only helping make the games more competitive (when you also factor in that 65 game minimum for awards), but also ratings. People will watch it, because it's new. If it stinks, I imagine the league will change it/scrap it altogether.
Think of the Play In. That was a new and radical idea that some may have thought was stupid and not needed, but look at what it's done to change the last few months of the season. I could argue this has been one of the most competitive seasons in recent memory, and the Play In has a huge role in that. Maybe this tournament will have the same result.
Free agent spending
For years now, we've seen complaints that big money teams like LAC and GS just pay whatever in order to win. They don't care about the tax bill as long as it leads to wins.
The NBA has decided to make things a little tougher for those luxury tax teams
The NBA is curbing the ability of the highest-spending teams, such as the Golden State Warriors and the LA Clippers, to continue running up salary and luxury tax spending while still maintaining mechanisms to add talent to the roster. The NBA is implementing a second salary cap apron -- $17.5 million over the tax line -- and those teams will no longer have access to the taxpayer mid-level in free agency. Those changes will be eased into the salary cap over a period of years.
Under these changes, Golden State's Donte DiVincenzo, Milwaukee's Joe Ingles, Boston's Danilo Gallinari and former Clippers guard John Wall wouldn't have been able to sign with those teams last summer.
So basically, if you have a big tax bill, you don't get the taxpayer midlevel to spend on a free agent. This year that was 2/13M. Essentially, this makes it tougher for contending teams to add quality veteran talent because they won't be able to offer anything other than the minimum. It then gives teams in the middle/lower end an "advantage" when it comes to players.
The thing is, who is to say those smaller market/cheaper teams would even spend the money? The league is basically saying, if you're an older player and you want to join a contender, you have to take a minimum deal. I can see why some players think this is fucked up and they are getting the raw end of the deal
Hate Draymond all you want, but he has a point.
This feels more like people are upset that the Warriors/Celts/Bucks/Clippers etc spend whatever it takes to win and still had ways to add good veteran talent. This change will certainly shift how teams operate in free agency, and makes the draft all that more important if you're a contending team. When you can no longer rely on bringing in that vet with the TPMLE, it changes how you are able to build your roster/add talent.
Smoking weed is all good
This adjustment might end up having the most significance of any of the new CBA rules
The NBA and NBPA have agreed to increase the upper limits on extensions from a 120% increase on a current deal to 140%, which could have a significant impact on the futures of stars like Celtics forward Jaylen Brown.
Under the current rules, Brown would be allowed to sign a four-year extension worth $165 million. With the extension rules increased to 140%, however, Brown -- who is set to earn $31.8 million in the 2023-24 season, the final year of his current contract -- would be able to reach his four-year maximum of $189 million, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks.
Similarly, Sacramento Kings All-Star center Domantas Sabonis could currently sign a four-year, $111 million extension -- one that jumps up to $121 million with the increase to 140%.
Obviously I care deeply about this change given what is now possible for my favorite basketball team and their star player, but I'm pretty sure we're at the point where Jaylen is a lock for All NBA anyways.
The difference is, originally teams like the Celts and Kings were only able to offer the supermax extension of those guys earned All NBA this year. They were not allowed to offer a normal max extension until NEXT summer. Now, even if one misses All NBA, the teams can offer them a higher max extension anyways.
That doesn't mean they'll take it though. Perhaps the player will want to bet on themselves again next year to see if they can make All NBA and get a supermax, but I do imagine there will be a good amount of players that take the regular max a season earlier if offered.
In the end, the biggest thing I care about as someone who loves this sport and this league is that there won't be a lockout. I'm open to the tournament idea, I love the new extension rules for obvious reasons, and the free agent stuff is kind of shitty but teams will adapt. Maybe vets end up taking the minimum to join teams anyway and it won't matter.
Now if Adam Silver can just make sure to address his glaring officiating problem in the near future, the league will be set up to continue to thrive for years to come.