The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association made it official Thursday that the two sides have signed a new collective bargaining agreement.
That means pro basketball won’t be interrupted by a work stoppage before the summer of 2022 at the earliest. That is great news for the sport and reflective of the exceptional prosperity around the NBA, thanks primarily to new national television contracts with ESPN/ABC and Turner Sports.
The NBA distributed a summary of the terms of the new CBA to media Thursday evening. A few key points, and how those terms might affect the Charlotte Hornets:
Exceptions and rookie scale amounts rising substantially: The mid-level and biannual exceptions and the rookie scale, for first-round draft picks, will rise by 45 percent. Hornets effect: Minimal, because most of that pay increase will come from league-wide funds. So this won’t matter much when the Hornets go shopping for free agents each July.
Maximum cash limit in trades increases: It rises from $3.6 million to $5.1 million. Effect on Hornets: The Hornets have sold spare second-round picks in the past. This rule change could make such a transaction more lucrative to a team where cash-flow matters.
A shorter waiting period to extend veteran contracts: Now teams can re-sign their key veteran players on the second anniversary of their prior signing, rather than third anniversary. Effect on Hornets: Point guard Kemba Walker, the Hornets’ best player, is playing for $12 million a season, which is below his market value. Might be wise to lock him down with an extension.
Matching offer sheets: Teams with restricted free-agent rights now have two days, rather than three, to decide whether to match. Effect on Hornets: They have twice signed players to offer sheets (Anderson Varejao and Gordon Hayward) and both times the other team matched. A shorter time frame to match means the Hornets’ cap space is tied up more briefly, so this could embolden them to try this again.
Two-way contracts: Each NBA team can add two players who will primarily spend that season with the team’s Development League affiliate. Those players can spend up to 45 days on the regular-season roster of the parent team. Effect on Hornets: They have invested in a Development League team in Greensboro, so this figures to add to the value of the Swarm.
Preseason to be shortened by seven days: Teams will now play a maximum of six exhibitions, rather than eight, with the seven days added back into the regular season, which now will last 177 days. Effect on the Hornets: Fewer exhibitions is a plus, but coach Steve Clifford places great value on preseason practice, the best time for coaches to do deep-drill teaching.