The NBA and NBAPA agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement a little more than a week ago which ensured that the NBA wouldn’t have any stoppages for the foreseeable future. Now that things have settled down, and the specifics of the CBA are known, it is possible to see how it will specifically affect the Los Angeles Lakers.
The new CBA has a couple of changes that will seriously make a difference in the NBA free agency and trade market, and that means a lot to the Lakers.
One of the real experts of the CBA is Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, and he believes that one change, in particular, will help the Lakers when it comes to keeping its young players in Los Angeles:
The advantage for L.A. is clear when it comes to keeping its young, talented players. A normal rookie-scale extension was limited to four years, but the new agreement will allow teams to utilize two five-year designated player extensions instead of just one.
With Julius Randle eligible for an extension this summer, followed by D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram in the subsequent off-seasons, the Lakers will have all the advantages to locking down their young core for years to come.
Of course, the same can also be said for other teams and their young stars so the odds of the Lakers signing a young star in free agency has lessened. Pincus also points out that the new CBA will affect the trade market as incumbent teams can offer more years and a bigger pay bump on extensions:
Currently, teams can give out only four additional years on veterans’ extensions. So, in the cases of superstars, franchises have been limited to below-market offers […] The new CBA will allow teams to offer an additional five years and a larger bump in pay, so franchises will be more likely to lock down good players for longer, earlier.
The four-year extensions were a major reason players wanted to hit free agency, as they could secure five-year contracts by waiting. Teams who felt their stars were going to leave would then be forced to trade them for well below market value.
This new CBA has seemingly fixed that as incumbent teams have so much of an advantage in keeping their own players that a team would truly have to be done with a player to move him. Likewise, the difference in money when re-signing as opposed to joining a new team is even greater than it was before.
At the end of the day, the new CBA has given incumbent teams all of the advantages. For the Lakers, this is great when it comes to keeping their young players in house, but as for bringing in a new star, it becomes that much more difficult.