The NBA And NBPA Agreed To An Adjusted CBA, Free Agency Starts Nov. 22

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At the stroke of midnight on the east coast, the NBA and NBPA formally announced they had reached an agreement on CBA adjustments for the 2020-21 season (and beyond) that will allow the new season to begin on December 22. The salary cap for this season will be $109.1 million, with a tax line of $132.6 million — effectively unchanged from the initial projections — allowing teams to operate this offseason as they had planned in free agency and more.

This agreement also finalized key dates, such as a November 20 start date to the free agency moratorium period, two days after the NBA Draft, with signings able to become official on November 22. As for how they will handle the dip in revenue, the league and the players association has agreed to a new system to handle their agreed upon basketball related income split, with players taking necessary salary reductions up to, but not exceeding, 20 percent in a given season should player salaries go over the 10 percent escrow set aside in a given year. The salary cap, meanwhile, will be guaranteed to increase by three percent and no more than 10 percent each season, to allow teams to continue to operate as planned going forward even understanding the potential for financial losses. The tax will raise in proportion to the cap, but tax payments will be decreased proportionate to decreases in BRI — i.e., if the league is losing money, teams won’t have to pay as stiff a tax.

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As for the 2020-21 season, it will be as reported previously a 72-game season beginning on December 22, with the schedule and broadcast slate to be released in the near future. This puts a bow on what seemed to be a rather amicable negotiation period between the league and union, with the NBA getting its desired start date this season while players got a lower escrow number and guarantees for salary cap increases and a maximum amount of salary taken back should the league fall short of BRI expectations.

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