The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have mutually agreed to extend the deadline to inform intentions to opt-out of the league’s collective bargaining agreement past Dec. 15.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN elaborated on the specifics of the extension and what that might mean for the league, teams and players moving forward:
“In the wake of large-market contenders like the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets and LA Clippers running up massive payrolls and luxury tax penalties, the NBA is proposing a system that would replace the luxury tax with a hard limit that teams could not exceed to pay salaries, sources said.”
The luxury tax has been a crutch for major market teams. It has allowed franchises to absorb and facilitate large contracts in order to maintain and allocate top talent for their appropriate market value. It has been one of the biggest enablers of the construction of super teams, particularly since the era began in 2007.
The implications for a hard limit would cap owners and general managers in their recruitment ventures in the offseason, as well as their trade maneuvers in season. Evidently something would have to give – typically either top heavy talent, or a deep supporting cast and bench.
According to an article from Forbes Magazine, which chronicled the luxury tax spending of all 30 teams from its implementation in 2001 following the 1999 CBA, the Portland Trail Blazers have spent the eighth-most amount of money in the tax at $109,148,302. This exorbitant amount is an amalgamation of six years in the luxury tax for the Blazers in that span.
Beyond the tax, Woj also accentuated that the formal decree of an extension is expected to come via a board of governors meeting on Wednesday. Historically, the last time the league and the Players Association were at crucial odds pertaining to tax, player salaries, and more financial implications came in the 2011-12 season, where the campaign was shortened to 66 games.
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed seven years ago, and is set to expire in 2023-24. Expect a new agreement to come sometime early in 2023.