What NBA’s New Reported CBA Could Mean For Celtics, Jaylen Brown

The in-season tournament could arrive next season


April 1

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association reached an agreement on a new seven-year collective bargaining agreement, sources told ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday.

The tentative deal is expected to be ratified by league governors and players in the coming weeks and includes a mutual opt-out after the sixth year, according to Wojnarowski.

The new CBA prevented the possibility of a work stoppage this summer, and the reported details could have sharp effects on the Boston Celtics.

“The NBA is curbing the ability of the highest-spending teams, such as the Golden State Warriors and the LA Clippers, to continue running up salary and luxury tax spending while still maintaining mechanisms to add talent to the roster,” Wojnarowski wrote. “The NBA is implementing a second salary cap apron — $17.5 million over the tax line — and those teams will no longer have access to the taxpayer mid-level in free agency. Those changes will be eased into the salary cap over a period of years.”

ESPN used the example of the Celtics signing Danilo Gallinari this past offseason despite Boston being over $25 million above the $150 million luxury tax this season, according to Spotrac. The C’s signed the veteran forward on the mid-level exception, and after the 34-year-old tore his ACL last summer, Boston was granted a disabled player exception.

What could be beneficial for the Celtics is an increase to the upper limits of an extension from 120% to 140%.

“Under the current rules, Brown would be allowed to sign a four-year extension worth $165 million. With the extension rules increased to 140%, however, Brown — who is set to earn $31.8 million in the 2023-24 season, the final year of his current contract — would be able to reach his four-year maximum of $189 million,” according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

If Brown makes an All-NBA team this season, he will be eligible for a supermax extension, but if he does not, other teams have the ability to offer a larger deal. However, under the reported new CBA, the Celtics still would have leverage to re-sign the All-Star wing.

Brown has been uncommitted and vague about his future in Boston, but once the new CBA is approved, money would not be an issue in retaining the seventh-year star.

Other reported details in the new CBA include a minimum of 65 games played to be eligible for postseason awards like All-NBA teams and MVP in an effort to curb load management.

An in-season tournament, which could start as soon as the 2023-24 season, reportedly was approved

“The event will include pool-play games baked into the regular-season schedule starting in November — with eight teams advancing to a single-elimination tournament in December. The Final Four will be held at a neutral site, with Las Vegas prominent in the discussion,” sources told ESPN.

Commissioner Adam Silver has cited the UEFA Champions League as a model for the tournament, and it would take a while for this new tournament to reach the heights the Champions League has for soccer fans. The WNBA has two seasons with the Commissioner’s Cup implemented in its regular season, with the Connecticut Sun falling short in the inaugural in-season contest.

It would mean another trophy for the Celtics to add to the display case, but, again, it would take a while for teams to value a midseason competition as much as an NBA championship.

But in the immediate future, Boston fans should be encouraged by this new CBA as it gives the team a better chance at retaining its superstar duo of Brown and Jayson Tatum.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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