Silver: CBA talks include new ways for teams to try to keep stars
With talks continuing between the NBA and the players' association on a new collective bargaining agreement, league commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday that one possible element is giving teams an even further advantage in trying to retain their homegrown stars.
"One of the things we're talking about ... is coming up with additional opportunities for the incumbent team to retain the player," Silver told SiriusXM NBA Radio. "Some advantages, in terms of being able to negotiate earlier to extend the contract."
The impetus for this discussion - usually cyclical in the NBA - were alarm bells over the summer departure of Kevin Durant from the small-market Oklahoma City Thunder to the big-market Golden State Warriors.
The league already has various mechanisms in place designed to make it more lucrative for a player to "stay put" in free agency. Most prominently, players can only sign a max five-year contract with the franchise that owns their Bird Rights.
However, as Durant and LeBron James have demonstrated over the past few summers, the preferred superstar strategy now is "1-and-1" contracts with an option - allowing them to play the market more freely by taking advantage of spikes in the salary cap.
Silver suggested Thursday there could be a way for teams to try to lock in those stars even earlier, and, failing to do so, trade them.
"Now, under the way our rules are structured, your current team can offer you a longer contract (and) more money," he said. "I think if we 'early-up' some of those opportunities, at least teams will be in a better position to know, one, whether they can keep that player, and if they can't, they'll be more of an opportunity to deal that player, and get value for that player if it seems likely that player is going to leave."
As it stands, teams can attempt to do just that. There are drawbacks, however.
Say, for instance, the Thunder realized last season that Durant wasn't coming back. Placing him on the trade block would've resulted in virtually no offers of close value, simply because other teams would know Oklahoma City's hand was being forced - with some of those same teams deducing they could land him in free agency without giving up player assets.
It was reported this week that a new CBA is expected to be agreed upon by early next month.
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