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 will take effect this weekend. The league released the full agreement to the teams on Wednesday – two days before the start of free duty. The new deal will run for seven years (through the 2029-2030 season), with a mutual opt-out after the sixth.
The agreement, which can be seen here in its entirety, is a whopping 676 pages and includes a number of notable new additions. Here’s a look at some of the most notable changes:
- The introduction of an in-season tournament to begin the 2023-24 season. The tournament will feature all 30 teams and will take place on specific days during the first two months of the regular season. It starts with a group stage, after which eight teams advance to a knockout round. Players from all four final teams will be financially compensated and all games except the championship count as part of the 82-game regular season schedule.
- There will now be a second salary cap – $17.5 million on top of the current platform – that will help curb the spending of the league’s most expensive teams. Any team that crosses that threshold loses access to the mid-level taxpayer exception.
- Individual player prizes now have a minimum of 65 games to qualify. This includes honors such as All-NBA.
- Restrictions restricting veterans’ contract renewals have been eased. Where most players were previously limited to 120% of their previous salary in the first year of a renewal, those players can now earn as much as 140% of their previous salary at the start of a new deal.
- Players are no longer prohibited from using marijuana, as it has been removed from the anti-drug testing program, a process that began during the 2019-2020 season.
- Teams can sign three two-sided players instead of two.
View our explanation for a much more detailed overview of the changes in the new collective labor agreement.
Now that the collective bargaining agreement has been officially signed, the NBA will not have to worry about any kind of work-related interruptions in the foreseeable future. The last lockout from the competition took place 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 expires at the end of the 2024-2025 season. The league would certainly prefer to make a new television deal well before then, and reports suggest the league hopes to make three times the $24 billion it got in its last deal.