Will New CBA Ensure Parity is Here to Stay in NBA?

The Nuggets beat the Heat in this year’s Finals. Two years ago, the Bucks beat the Suns. Is parity in this year’s NBA here to stay?Nikola Jokic looks to pass vs Duncan Robinson

The new collective-bargaining agreement may make it so, some are predicting.

“Parity ends up being beneficial to smaller teams,” former Bucks owner Marc Lasry said, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “If you just think of it that way, the problem if you’re a small-market team is that people are going to want to play in New York, L.A., Miami, Dallas, any of the big cities. And so going forward, that’s going to be harder to do, from the tax aprons and just the way things are.

“All everybody wants is competition, because the more competition there is, the more teams at the beginning of the season that can say, ‘We have a chance to win a championship,’ the better it is for the league.”

Three weeks before the most recent Finals, no one would have predicted the Nuggets would be facing the Heat, who barely made it into the playoffs via the play-in tournament. And even that was as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

And while the Nuggets have Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, they definitely were not the sexy pick to emerge from the West.

“I think with this new agreement, it will help to further distribute great players around the league,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said, via Bontemps. “Now, that doesn’t ensure championships. Management still matters a lot in this league, [as does] coaching and everything else.”

As one GM told Hoops Wire, if a team such as the Heat can reach the Finals, “just about anyone can. … Everyone has a chance.”

The GM wasn’t downplaying the Heat’s inspirational playoff run. He was actually giving them credit for providing hope to teams that aren’t expected to do a whole lot heading into the 2023-24 season.

Thanks to the new CBA, that comes with a second tax apron that can significantly penalize teams for overspending … yes, parity in the NBA might be here to stay.

“I think that’s great, that there’ve been five different teams [to win championships],” Silver said, “but at the same time, I don’t mind, and I don’t think fans mind, when you have teams repeat as champions. I think what they focus on is how those teams were formed.

“And I think that when there’s a sense that the team is, it’s done through the draft, through trades, that it’s through proper development of players and that team can then continue to win.”

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