Detailing Changes In NBA’s New Collective Bargaining Agreement
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The NBA avoided a potential lockout this summer by agreeing to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement just before their predetermined deadline. Like every new CBA, many things are going to look extremely similar to how they do now, but there are some changes that fans will see starting this offseason.

Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of an in-season tournament that will be implemented for the 2023-24 season. All of the details are being ironed out, but it is believed that only those in the championship game of the tournament will have to play an 83rd regular season game.

Another grouping of major changes come on the financial side of things and with the league’s award eligibility. Those changes are detailed below, via Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Starting on the financial side, the non-taxpayer MLE, serving as a salary cap exception for teams who are underneath the hard cap apron, will see a bump this offseason. Additionally, the room MLE, meant as a salary cap exception for teams operating below the salary cap entirely, is getting a raise.

Details have not yet been made public about the taxpayer MLE, although raises in the other two increase the likelihood of a raise there as well.

A new exception has also been created that allows teams to sign second-round picks and undrafted players to greater than two-year minimum contracts. This exception would have allowed the Lakers to postpone the restricted free agency of Austin Reaves by one year.

The other interesting rule change revolving around awards puts a hard minimum on the number of games a player has to play in order to be eligible. Players now must play in 65 games — with some exceptions — in order to be considered for NBA awards.

Under this rule, Defensive Player of the Year winner Jaren Jackson Jr. would just barely be eligible to win that award. He played 63 games this season — two under the minimum — but only played under 15 minutes in one game, making him eligible. If he had three games of under 15 minutes with 63 games played, he would not be eligible.

Damian Lillard would be ineligible for All-NBA based on new rules

One of the potential drawbacks of setting a hard minimum on games played is that great seasons could be completely forgotten because of a near-miss on games played eligibility. These rules don’t go into effect until next season, but based on the new rules, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers would not be eligible for an All-NBA team.

Lillard averaged 32.2 points and 7.3 assists per game and the Trail Blazers went 6-18 when Lillard wasn’t in the lineup. But he played only 58 games, meaning he would miss the season-ending injury exception by four games.

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