The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has voted to approve the terms of the next collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the NBA league and its players in a move that is set to ensure labour peace in the North American competition over the years to come.
The NBPA’s move comes after team owners last month voted in favour of a proposed seven-year deal that was provisionally agreed to earlier in December. The two sides will now have to formally sign the contract, which will happen once the actual document is drawn up.
In a brief statement, the NBA said: “The new agreement will take effect on July 1, 2017, and run through the 2023-24 season. The parties voted based on a term sheet that outlined the key deal points. Once the NBA and NBPA finish drafting and execute the complete agreement, specific details will be released.”
The NBA and NBPA locked horns over a new CBA in 2011, with the drawn-out talks ultimately leading to a work stoppage and a 2011-12 season that was reduced to 66 games. The NBA also previously lost games to a CBA-related lockout in 1998-99, but talks have progressed more smoothly this time around.
Under the new agreement, either side will have the ability to opt out after the 2022-23 season, although the deal will actually extend through the 2023-24 campaign. The new pact will take effect after the current 2016-17 season, with the Associated Press news agency stating that the average player salary is expected to hit $8.5m (€7.9m) next season and rise to $10m by 2020-21 under the fresh terms.
The proposed CBA will also allow for preseason schedules to be capped at six games instead of eight, while regular seasons will start a week earlier than usual to allow for more days off and fewer back-to-back games. Teams will also be allowed to use ‘two-way’ contracts for NBA Development League players for the first time.
Enhanced plans to help retired players with their medical expenses, a priority project for NBPA president Chris Paul and fellow superstars including LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, will also be implemented.