With a relatively new TV deal, the NBA has a lot of money coming it’s way. And while certain players are making a bunch of money, the superstars are in for a different windfall through the new CBA.
It will be grandfathering in two players that are two of the top players in the league. Both Russell Westbrook and James Harden signed extensions this past summer and due to the new CBA, they will be able to sign another deal this summer for when that deal runs out.
If that sounds confusing, it is because it is. The second contract that they would be signing in a consecutive offseason wouldn’t even kick in for a couple more years. Westbrook’s second deal would start in 2018-19 and Harden’s second deal would start in 2019-2020. They are the only two players in the entire league that can sign this deal.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical broke the initial news and in his article on it, he explains the NBAPA’s reasoning on why they moved forward with this exception.
“The league and union worked together on the Harden/Westbrook arrangement with the belief that neither player, nor the Rockets or Thunder, should be punished for honoring the spirit of the rules: encouraging players to remain with current teams on contract extensions. When those deals were negotiated to raise the players’ salaries and add extra years to the contracts, the teams and players were unaware that the new CBA would offer such substantial financial rewards for waiting another year.”
The rise of super teams has made things interesting in the NBA, and this is another way for teams to try and keep their current team in check. It makes sense for the league since it will increase more parity (in theory), and it makes sense for the players since they can make more money.
Whether or not they should be meddling in the affairs of its teams like this is a completely different story, but the NBA has never exactly been known for its straightforward way of handling contracts.