The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement will go into effect when the free-agency negotiating period begins Saturday. Here are some key points for Charlotte Hornets fans to keep in mind this offseason:
▪ This new deal between the owners and the players association is intended to be a seven-year agreement. Either side can opt out after the 2022-23 season. Regardless, this represents a long period without the threat of a lockout.
▪ Many of the exceptions to the salary cap – including mid-level and bi-annual, the veteran minimums and the rookie pay scale (for first-rounders) – will rise considerably.
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▪ Teams can start talking to free agents on Saturday. Contracts can first be signed at noon on July 6.
▪ Teams can sign restricted free agents to offer sheets before July 6. The team that player last played for will have until July 8 to decide whether to match.
▪ The league will allow two “two-way contracts” per team, similar to a system used by the NHL for developmental players. This is designed for players who will play that season primarily in the G-League. So, the roster maximum per team will rise to 17.
▪ The mid-level exception (for non-taxpaying teams) will be $8.406 million this season. The bi-annual exception will be $3.29 million.
▪ The NBA will announce the new salary cap number before July 6. It will rise from last season, but be less than the league once projected. It will come in at about $99 million per team, roughly $2 million less than once thought. The Hornets already exceed the projected cap number, but are below the taxpayer threshold.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell