The new Collective Bargaining Agreement that the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association agreed to in April has been officially signed, and it will go into effect this weekend. The league released the full agreement to teams on Wednesday — two days before the start of free agency. The new deal will last for seven years (through the 2029-30 season), with a mutual opt-out after the sixth.
The agreement, which can be seen in its entirety here, is a whopping 676 pages, and includes several notable new additions. Here’s a look at some of the most noteworthy changes:
- The introduction of an in-season tournament to begin with the 2023-24 season. The tournament will feature all 30 teams and take place on specific days during the first two months of the regular season. It starts with a group stage, and then eight teams will advance to a knockout round. Players on all four of the final teams will be compenstated financially, and all of the games except for the championship will count as part of the 82-game regular season schedule.
- There will now be a second salary cap apron — $17.5 million over the current apron — which will help curb spending among the league’s most expensive teams. Any team that crosses that threshold will lose access to the taxpayer mid-level exception.
- Individual player awards will now have a 65-game minimum for eligibility. This includes honors like All-NBA.
- The restrictions limiting veteran contract extensions have been loosened. Whereas most players were previously limited to 120% of their previous salary in the first year of an extension, now those players will be able to earn as much as 140% of their previous salary upon the start of a new deal.
- Players will no longer be prohibited from using marijuana, as it has been removed from the anti-drug testing program, a process that began during 2019-20 season.
- Teams will be able to sign three two-way players instead of two.
For a much more detailed look at the changes in the new CBA, check out our explainer.
With the CBA officially signed, the NBA now doesn’t have to worry about any kind of a labor-related stoppage for the foreseeable future. The league’s last lockout occurred in 2011 and lasted from July to December. As a result, the 2011-12 season was reduced from 82 to 66 games.
Now, the NBA can turn its attention to its next major financial milestone. The league’s current national media rights deal with Disney and Turner is set to expire at the end of the 2024-25 season. The league would surely prefer to have a new television deal done well before then, and reports suggest that the league is hoping to earn three times as much as the $24 billion it got in its last deal.