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4 Facts in NBA Contracts You May Not Have Known

The NBA, like other professional sports, has a uniformed player contract for each player in the NBA. These contracts may be altered with approval of the NBPA.

Below are some new or interesting provisions within a NBA contracts that caught my attention.

4 Facts in NBA Contracts You May Not Have Known

nba-fine-print contract

Section 5: Conduct, subsection (f):

The Player agrees that he will not, during the term of this Contract, directly or indirectly, entice, induce, or persuade, or attempt to entice, induce, or persuade, any player or coach who is under contract to any NBA team to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services as a basketball player or coach, nor shall he negotiate for or contract for such services, except with the prior written consent of such team. Breach of this subparagraph, in addition to the remedies available to the Team, shall be punishable by fine and/or suspension to be imposed by the Commissioner.

Translation: While an NBA player is under contract, that player cannot recruit another player or coach to potentially lure said player or coach to a certain team.

Although this provision has been in the Uniform Player Contracts for previous CBAs, it has come to light within the last few seasons due to the Big 3 in Miami. There were allegations that LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided joined Dwyane Wade in Miami after their time in Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Wade and Pat Riley allegedly talked to the two stars there in hopes that they would both come to Miami during their upcoming free agency, which they both did. Although the NBA looked into the allegations, it is extremely hard to prove that there was any previous collusion, especially since all three players are close friends.

Stretch Provision

Under the new CBA, a player’s remaining salary and his cap hit may be stretched across twice the number of seasons remaining on the contract, plus one. However, this is completely to the discretion of the team.

Translation: For teams that have players signed to bad contracts, they can waive that player and stretch his salary across three seasons. This will help with cash flow and provide extra money in cap relief for the current season, in order to sign more helpful players for the immediate future.

Rookie Contracts

Victor Oladipo and his fellow rookies have some interesting clauses in their NBA contracts

Victor Oladipo and his fellow rookies have some interesting clauses in their NBA contracts

In the 2005 CBA, the guaranteed portion of a rookie scale salary was shortened from three seasons to two. However, this forces teams to make a two-year commitment to a marginal player, perhaps.

Translation: If a team cannot trade its first round pick and it does not like the player they picked at the rate which would be guaranteed to that player, the team is “stuck” with that player for a minimum of two years. A perfect example here is Darko Milicic with the Detroit Pistons.

Section 5: Conduct, subsection (b):

The Player agrees: (i) to give his best services, as well as his loyalty, to the Team, and to play basketball only for the Team and its assignees; (ii) to be neatly and fully attired in public; . . .

Translation: I find this provision in an NBA contract the most interesting for various reasons.

One is that loyalty can be defined in many ways. Young players today seem to be more keen on fashion than loyalty, so wearing apparel from another team seems more common than before. However, it has yet to be determined if that would fall within a team’s right to fine or suspend a player.

Speaking of fashion, it is interesting that the next subsection (ii) requires players to be “neatly and fully attired in public,” but with little explanation of what that actually means. Since this is a subjective standard, I highly doubt a team punishes a player, unless an unusual circumstance presents itself (i.e., player is nude in public).

If you are interested in the latest NBA Uniformed Contract, please check the 2011 NBA CBA for more information.

What do you think about these provisions found in a NBA contracts? What odd contract clauses come to your mind? Let us know in the comments below!

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