Small-Market Teams Helped Lead to Rejection of Hard Cap in NBA Labor Deal

Smaller market teams were concerned that a hard salary cap in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could hurt them as much as the traditionally higher payroll teams it was initially intended to punish, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.NBA Logo

The league and players union agreed to a new seven-year labor deal on Friday, with an opt-out clause after year six.

The idea of a hard cap was proposed by team owners, with the players rejecting the idea, according to reports. Eventually, the owners backed off, Wojnarowski said, using the Cavaliers as an example.

“Even what a lot of small market teams were worried about a hard cap in places, like let’s say Cleveland, where all of a sudden you’re good enough to win a championship,”  Wojnarowsk said on The Woj Pod, via RealGM. “You have a team and you’re willing to go into the tax to keep that team together. Then all of a sudden with a hard cap and guaranteed contracts, the Cavs, using them as an example, or Oklahoma City four or five years from now, the smaller market teams worried ‘This is going to work against us.’

“If Cleveland can’t keep Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell. Or Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. They have to pick one of them and one of those guys leaves and goes to a (larger) market, it defeats the purpose of why you wanted a hard cap to protect yourselves from Steve Ballmer spending or Joe Lacob spending and that didn’t happen. That was off the table fairly early.”

The new labor deal goes into effect starting next season.

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 30 teams!

Leave a Reply