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The New CBA: Limits For Taxpaying Teams

John Rohde Published: December 10, 2011

Today’s topic in the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement:


2005: No additional limits for taxpaying teams.

2011: Taxpaying teams have a smaller mid-level exception, can acquire less salary in trade and cannot use the biannual exception. Starting in 2013-14, teams more than $4 million above the tax level cannot receive a player in a sign-and-trade transaction.

Winners: Players. This is all the owners could get after seeking a hard cap and later a “flex” cap. Taxpaying teams now have less access to exceptions. This will give small-market teams a competitive advantage. For example, instead of weighing equal $5 million offers in Los Angeles and Minnesota, a free agent might have to choose between a $3 million offer in Los Angeles and a $5 million offer in Minnesota.