The NBA is a lot of fun to watch, but it’s even better when you know some of the interesting facts about what goes on off the court. That’s why we’re back with another installment of Rookiepedia. In this installment, we look at the results of the new CBA negotiations.
*This article originally appeared in the May issue of Rookie.
The NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is the result of negotiations between the NBA (commissioner and 30 team owners) and the players’ association to set rules for player contracts, trades, revenue sharing, the draft, and the salary cap. The first CBA deal was reached in 1999 after the lockout, and new negotiations have been taking place in six-year cycles, from 2005-2011 to 2017 and now this year.
News of a new CBA deal broke in early April. What new rules will change the league this time around? Some interesting rules came out of the CBA negotiations, including a second apron and changes to All-NBA honors.
Luxury tax, not so much anymore!
The NBA has a salary cap to minimize power imbalances between teams. How well teams organize their rosters to stay within the salary cap is a key factor in their success. However, within the same salary cap system, teams spend different amounts each season. Even within the salary cap, there are a number of rules that allow teams to operate outside of the salary cap.
For example, the 2021-2022 salary cap was $112.4 million, but last season’s champion Golden State Warriors had a total team salary of over $175 million. They built their roster while paying a luxury tax of $170 million, close to the team’s total salary, and it paid off in the form of a Finals win in four years.
There aren’t many teams that can get away with an astronomical luxury tax like Golden State. Five teams paid more than $40 million in luxury tax last season (Golden State, Brooklyn, Clippers, Milwaukee, and Lakers). These were mostly big-market teams with deep-pocketed owners or who could capitalize on the star power of their players to generate more revenue.
While aggressive investment is a positive, it has been pointed out that the salary cap could become less meaningful in the long run as teams take on the luxury tax and post total salaries well above the salary cap. As a result, the NBA plans to create a second Texas apron in the CBA negotiations to reduce the power imbalance between teams.
In the previous NBA, the salary cap, salary cap floor, luxury tax line, and tax apron were the core of the salary cap structure.
The salary cap floor forces teams to make minimum investments, while the salary cap ceiling restricts teams from signing outside free agents through the normal channels. However, teams can utilize their Bird rights to sign internal resources, and they can also sign external players through mid-level exemptions (MLEs) and minimum contracts. If you cross the luxury tax line, teams will have to pay a luxury tax.
Teams above the Texas apron are more restricted in their ability to sign players. They can’t sign and trade players and can’t sign full MLE contracts. They are limited to mini-MLE contracts, which are smaller in size and duration. As of this season, the Texan apron is set to start at $156.98 million, which is about $6 million above the luxury tax line ($150 million).
The NBA office felt this was not enough. They decided to tighten the reigns by creating a second Texas apron. Expected to be created by adding about $17 million to the luxury tax line, the second Texas apron tier will place significant constraints on teams.
Starting in the 23-24 season, teams that cross the secondary Texas apron will face major penalties
No cash trades
Cannot trade first-round picks after seven years
Cannot sign buyout players
Locked into the last pick of the first round if they exceed the second Tex Apron more than twice in a four-year span
The total salary of the resources you send out in a trade must be less than the salary you receive in return
Immediately, the introduction of the secondary cap space is likely to have a major impact on this summer’s offseason. It will be interesting to see what moves Golden State and the Clippers, two of the most prominent franchises facing luxury tax pressure, will make with big contracts remaining for stars Steph Curry and Kawhi Leonard, respectively.
Play to win
The All-NBA teams are voted on by the league’s top players each season and are divided into first, second, and third teams. The All-NBA team is a highly coveted honor, and in recent years, it’s been mired in controversy. Many have argued that players on the All-NBA team play too few games.
In fact, of the 15 players named to the All-NBA team last season, more than half, nine, played less than 70 games. Three didn’t even reach 60 games.
2021-2022 All-NBA Team selections (number of regular season games played in parentheses)
First Team: Luka Doncic (65), Devin Booker (68), Jayson Tatum (76), Yanis Adetokunbo (67), Nikola Jokic (74)
Second Team: JaMorant (57), Steph Curry (64), Dermar Drojan (76), Kevin Durant (55), Joel Embiid (68)
Third Team: Chris Paul (70), Trae Young (76), LeBron James (56), Pascal Siakam (68), Karl-Anthony Towns (74)
Consistency is also an important trait for a player to possess, and there were many who argued that it wasn’t fair for a player who missed too many games to be named to the All-NBA team, which recognizes the best player in the league. There was also a tendency to vote for players on name recognition, even if they missed a lot of games. 먹튀검증
As part of the CBA negotiations, the NBA established a new minimum number of games to be eligible for awards, including the All-NBA team. Players must appear in 65 games – nearly 80 percent of regular-season games – to be eligible for individual awards.
We’re also eliminating record-keeping gimmicks. Players will be counted as having played in a game in which they were required to play at least 20 minutes, and season-ending injuries will no longer count.