NBA, players union agree to extend deadline to opt out of current Collective Bargaining Agreement

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The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement is nearing its end, and thus far, there has not been much momentum on a new one. The current agreement runs through the end of the 2023-24 season and includes an opt-out for either side. The initial deadline for either side to opt out was Dec. 15. However, the NBA and NBPA have agreed to extend that deadline. That extension will go to Feb. 8 as the two sides work on a new labor deal. If either sides decides to opt-out, the CBA’s current term will conclude on June 30, 2023. 

If the two sides are unable to reach a new agreement by then, the risk of a lockout increases significantly. The last NBA lockout came in 2011 and resulted in the loss of two months of the 2011-12 season.

This will be the first collective bargaining negotiations led by new union president CJ McCollum, who replaced Chris Paul in 2021, and executive director Tamika Tremaglio, who replaced Michele Roberts soon after. Adam Silver led the NBA’s owners through the 2017 CBA negotiations, which did not include any major strife or work stoppages.

The primary issue both sides are negotiating is the NBA’s desire for an upper spending limit on team salaries. The current model allows teams to effectively spend an infinite amount, so long as it is done so through Bird Rights and cap exceptions and the team in question is comfortable paying exorbitant luxury tax fees. This has allowed teams like the Warriors, Clippers and Nets to rack up historic payrolls.

The players, predictably, oppose any upper limit on spending and want to maintain the current system in which teams are free to add salary so long as it is done within the rules of the current cap. It is not clear at this time what concessions have been offered on either side or what sort of compromise they might reach. For now, the league and the union have bought themselves some time to figure out a new CBA. 

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