Now that the NBA players and owners have a tentative deal in place for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement [CBA], it’s time to take a look at just what this truncated season will mean for the NBA’s 430-plus players.
Every player who survived the lockout-shortened 1998-99, 50-game season agrees that the toughest part was the back-to-back-to-back stretches, when teams had to play three nights in a row. Back-to-back’s are tough enough on the knees. Three games in three nights will be grueling, even for young players.
Although we’re still waiting on all the details to emerge on the revamped schedules, and the deal must still be ratified, there are a few items to take note of, courtesy of NBA.com.
The league will play a 66-game season, beginning on Dec. 25 and ending on April 26.
Each team will play 3.9 games per week, which works out to roughly a game every other day.
There will be 48 in-conference games, and 18 out of conference games, so not all teams will visit all cities this season.
Every team will play at least one back-to-back-to back stretch this season.
Every second round playoff series will play at least back-to-back set. The playoffs are scheduled to start April 28.
As for the deal itself, some of the details include the following:
The salary cap for this year is $58 million, the same as it was last year, but it’s been pro-rated for this season to $49.3 million.
The salary floor is 85 percent for the first two years of the deal, then 90 percent for the remainder of the deal. The new CBA is for 10 years, with an opt-out after six.
The players are scheduled to receive 51.2 percent of Basketball Related Income [BRI] for the first season.
Players will receive approximately 80.5 percent of their salaries this year, prorated from an 82-game schedule to a 66-game schedule.
Another issue front and center on the minds of Wizards fans is the amnesty clause, which allows a team to wipe a contract off the books in order to clear salary cap space. The new deal will include the amnesty clause, just as the last CBA did after the 1998-99 lockout.
The Wizards have about $52 million committed to player salaries. Rashard Lewis has been a topic of discussion as a player the team might amnesty, since Lewis still has around $46 million owed to him for the next two seasons, with $32 million guaranteed, but team sources indicated that the team will not use the clause on Lewis this year, as it would place the team too far under the cap floor.
The amnesty clause can be used at any point throughout the life of the new CBA.