TORONTO - Details continue to emerge about the yet-to-be-ratified new NBA collective bargaining agreement.
The 66-game regular season — which should be revealed next week — will begin on Christmas Day and end on April 26, with the playoffs tipping just two days later.
Each team will play at least one three-games-in-three-nights set and as many as three of them and some playoff games in the first round will occur on back-to-back nights.
The schedule will be so compacted that the draft would take place just two days after a potential Game 7 of the finals.
Every team will play 48 conference games but just 18 non-conference games meaning Raptor fans won’t see some Western Conference powerhouses. Usually squads play 52 conference games and 30 non-conference.
Some other notable changes that haven’t yet received a lot of attention:
— Teams can now only pay out a maximum $3 million U.S. in trades per season. Previously they could include $3 million in each transaction. According to netsdaily.com, New Jersey and New York each spent over $7.5 million in trades between late June of 2010 and the same period the next year.
— Teams can use an amnesty clause at any time during the 10-year CBA in order to wipe a contract off of the books. The player would still get paid. Teams will also be able to get rid of future bad signings by stretching the money still owed to the player over a number of years once they waive him, similar to how the NHL handles buyouts.
— Also like the NHL, teams will now have a higher minimum salary. That was a key to get the rich franchises on board with revenue sharing. They didn’t want also-rans to take their money and not spend to field a competitive roster.
— Teams will have a better chance of holding onto their star free agents because they will be able to offer more money and longer contracts than under the previous CBA.
— Most new contracts will be a year shorter and subject to lesser annual raises than under the last CBA. The mid-level exception will also become less lucrative and high payroll teams will be restricted in how much of it and how often it can be used. Luxury tax-paying franchises will also be more handcuffed in pulling off trades as those under the tax will have looser trade stipulations.
AROUND THE RIM
According to Yahoo! Sports, it doesn’t look like Kenyon Martin, Wilson Chandler or J.R. Smith, formerly of the Denver Nuggets, will be heading back to the NBA anytime soon. All signed contracts to play in China with no NBA out clauses, so will be unable to return until March. Chandler was expected to be one of the most coveted free agents on the market ... A correction on Sunday’s Raptor salaries: The fourth and final remaining year of Amir Johnson’s contract is not a team option. It is only partially guaranteed however ... Reports indicate Golden State will not use the amnesty provision on centre Andris Biedriens ... Memphis apparently will match any offer tabled at highly coveted restricted free agent Marc Gasol ... Miami is said to have interest in yet another Canadian centre, Samuel Dalembert. The team signed one Montreal big man, Joel Anthony, to a big extension and employed Toronto’s Jamaal Magloire last season ... Two Canadians have earned conference player of the week honours so far this NCAA season. Kris Joseph of Montreal earned Big East honours for last week’s accomplishments, while Holland Landing’s Kevin Pangos previously was West Coast Conference player of the week.