The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in place between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) expires after the 2023-2024 season. Currently, the NBA and NBPA are in negotiations to update that Agreement, but the deadline to do so is March 31st.
Although both the league and the union have stated their optimism going into the final day of negotiations, there are still some issues outstanding. The biggest issue outside of the negotiations though is the position of the NBA if a new Agreement fails to be reached by midnight on March 31st. Adam Silver, the Commissioner of the NBA, stated that the league intends to opt out of the current CBA by June 30th if no new deal is reached by March 31st. Tamika Tremaglio, the executive director of the NBPA, followed up on Silver’s comments with a statement of her own noting that the union does not intend to opt out of the current CBA by June 30th and would be disappointed if the league did take that step. Some of the items thought to be of issue in negotiations include a hard salary cap or at least a change to the luxury tax structure, star players playing more games, a new media rights deal, and lowering the minimum drafting age back to 18, among others.
What does this all mean moving forward? There are a few options. The two sides could come to an agreement by midnight on March 31st and at that point a new CBA will be in place starting next season. If no deal is reached, it seems as though the NBA will choose to opt out. If that is the case, after June 30th, there will be no league business conducted including no signings, no trades, and opens up the potential of a lockout. With the money at stake for all involved, it would be beneficial for both parties to come to an agreement rather than lose out on what could potentially be billions of dollars.