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Last night, the NBA and National Basketball Player's Association (NBPA) jointly announced they have agreed in principle to a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which, though still to be formally ratified, should prevent a labor dispute like that which led to the 2011 lockout.

Much of the new CBA remains the same, with the league and NBPA going with the philosophy of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" - for example, revenue splits remain largely unchanged - but several important changes are likely to affect the Boston Celtics' plans in the near and long term alike. So, let's not waste time, and dive right into the important new parts of the CBA that may change what the Celtics can and want to do.

Players signed under the new CBA will make more. Possibly a lot more - and at all levels. Rookie scale will rise considerably (as it should), as will veteran minimum, bi-annual and mid-level exception salaries. Perhaps most importantly, maximum salaries will too - with 10-year max salaries anticipated to be at about $36 million per year and 7 - 9 year max salaries at $31 million per year. While this is certainly a boon for players, it makes putting together a super-team just a little bit harder - at absolutely the worst time possible for Boston. Expect aggressive moves this offseason to clear salary if the team feels it has a solid shot at landing a major free agent; conversely, this could go the other direction and push Danny Ainge et al to attempt to go all-in on a blockbuster trade instead.



The "Designated Veteran Player Exception" will make it harder than ever for teams to coax players away from their current teams. While there will be specific criteria - selection to All Star, All-NBA, Defensive Player of the Year, or Most Valued Player, for example - to qualify, the additional years (up to six) and money teams will be able to offer up to two such players means they will likely change teams less often in free agency. As with the spike in earnings noted above, this also clouds the free agency future for Boston going forward.

New "two-way" contracts for a sixteenth and seventeenth roster spot, however, will aid teams who tend to build through the draft, or have lots of picks in their war chest, both of which can describe the Celtics. With free agency looking to be more fraught than ever as a means of team building, this is welcome news for Boston, though it will be imperative for the team to make the most of such a new system enabling a closer working relationship with NBA D-League affiliates (and more pay for potential draftees, too).


A change from the previous "Over 36" contract limitations to "Over 38", designed to keep teams from harming themselves by signing players to long-term deals unlikely to be worth the investment, has changed to reflect the longer careers many players are enjoying through advances in treatment and technology. While Boston has one of the younger rosters in the league, the short-term impact of this may aid the Celts if teams lock up elder statesmen, gambling and losing on those extended careers. This could also end up harming Boston should they acquire one of those aging stars in a trade or free agency, but as of now, it's a moot point.

The NBA and NBPA have effectively tabled the "one-and-done" rule that requires rookies wait until their graduating high school class has been graduated for one year ensures that many of the most intriguing players available for Boston's likely top-five pick will be available. Had the rule changed to "two-and-done", for example, quite a few of the best prospects would have been shifted to the following draft, where the Celtics will almost certainly have lower picks to work with.


A shorter preseason will move the start of the NBA regular season forward, meaning less back-to-back games for teams, and hopefully as a result, less injuries. While, again, Boston's young roster should mean this is less important than it is to other teams, with the chronic injury history of several key players on this squad, less repetitive injury strain can only be a good thing. And rumored changes to the allowable use of in-game biometric wearables (such as the WHOOP device Matthew Dellavedova was disallowed by the league to use last April) may also be on the horizon, giving teams more tools to monitor health and (hopefully) prevent injury.

Additionally, rumored changes to when free agents can sign, to qualifying offer procedures, and the potential for league expansion may also negatively affect Boston in ways in which we have previously reported, though the details on these issues remain to be discussed by the league before ratification, so keep an eye out for these aspects and more detail in the coming weeks.


For more stories about the CBA on Celticslife, click here. For more by Justin, click here.







Photo via www.nba.com
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 12/15/2016 12:43:00 PM Edit
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