The NBA now has two seasons under its belt with its new collective bargaining agreement and is about to enter its third. The league was confident that the new agreement -- in conjunction with its new revenue-sharing system that launched at the same time -- would fix the league's economy, ensuring that every well-managed team could turn a profit while competing for a championship.
The agreement also strove to level the playing field. High-spending teams would be reined in by a progressive luxury tax and system restrictions aimed at taxpayers. Relaxed trade rules, a new midlevel exception and a new stretch provision gave teams more maneuvering room and put more tools at the disposal of savvy GMs.
To the extent that a rising tide lifts all boats, it can be argued that
Here's a look at which teams have won and which have lost under the new agreement so far.
These are the teams that have fared well under the new CBA. There are some consistent threads among these teams -- financial relief from revenue sharing and successfully reading the market to anticipate how things will shake out as the league's economy shifts. Interestingly, only one team was a clear winner because it could keep spending, while other teams could no longer afford to.
The new agreement didn't eliminate the gap between the haves and the have-nots. In fact, it widened it. But here's the key -- there are now fewer teams in the haves category, because most teams don't have the truly deep pocketbooks to spend like they did under the old agreement. The Nets are one of the few remaining teams with the resources to continue spending. Need to cut a big revenue-sharing check? Happy to oblige. An $87 million luxury-tax bill? Sure, whatever. The Nets have remained buyers in what -- due to other teams needing to make financial adjustments -- has become a buyer's market.