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WHAT is the NBA CBA? An Introduction

WHAT is the CBA? We have questions and our guest has answers. This week Brit Robotista takes us through the basics of what the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement is and why it is important.

Portland Trail Blazers v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

We got real nerdy on this week’s episode of the WHAT podcast and invited Brit Robotista (@britrobotista) onto the pod to go over the basics of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the NBA league owners. She helped us understand why it exists, what it holds, what happened in the summer of ‘16, and how we might prepare ourselves to understand what options will be on the table the next time Damian Lillard is up for a new contract.

Get out your pencils and your legal pads and take some notes (or not, you can relax and that’s fine too). We’re diving into some really important stuff, with a wonderful tour guide to help us understand, WHAT is the deal with the CBA?

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1:19 If you could choose any two NBA players to go on a road trip with, who would they be and why?

7:00 Introducing Brit Robotisita (@britrobotista).

9:40 Overview of the CBA. What it does. Key elements: what kinds of contracts players can sign, who can represent a player, pension plan agreements, revenue sharing, media and conduct expectations, basically agreements about what happens off the court.

12:45 How long has the CBA been around? Players Union started in the 1950s but it took years before there was an official contract agreement between the owners and the players union. 1964 was the first year of a collective bargaining agreement.

14:37 Players forced the owners hand at the 1964 All Star game.

15:50 Current arrangement, when did it go into effect and when does it expire?

17:56 The bargaining for the last agreement went pretty smoothly. Why was that? A lot of it was because Adam Silver and Michelle Roberts were new to their positions and they both needed it to be successful. Also, there had been talks leading up to the new CBA which made coming to an agreement easier.

21:26 What happens when the two sides agree to opt out of an agreement?

22:15 If both sides decided to change the age limit for players, how would the age limit change happen?

27:40 What are some of the things that happened in the summer of 2016 that had to do with the CBA? New TV agreement went into effect and cap smoothing didn’t happen, Kevin Durant had an opportunity to sign a short term high salary deal at Golden State and some journeymen signed really large contracts.

34:20 How does the leadership of the Players Association work? Recently some of the new NBPA leadership are more journeymen type players which is significant because many of the mid-tier players are not able to sign as big of contracts as those who signed in 2016 because teams overspent.

38:00 Some of the unintended consequences of not choosing cap smoothing.

42:00 We’re coming to terms with Evan Turner’s contract, and he is contributing to the team while some of those contracts that were handed out belong to players who are not even playing or are barely playing.

44:30 What are some things to keep in mind when Damian Lillard’s contract expires? Damian will qualify for a super max, he meets the benchmarks to be a super max player.

50:30 He could also sign a short term extension but that could mean he wants to keep options open to move somewhere else.

53:20 There are lots of details in the CBA about exactly how much a player can make, both in annual salary and in bonuses.

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Follow Blazer’s Edge on Twitter @blazersedge, WHAT Pod @HoopsAndTalks, Tara @tcbbiggs, and Cassidy @CassidyGemmet. This week’s guest: @britrobotista

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Music used in the episode: “Happy Alley” Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License