For those of us that aren’t in sync with the definitions or terms related to the salary cap discussions, look no further! Here’s some handy information below that may help you better understand some of the key talking points. This guide isn’t an all-inclusive; rather, it’s a quick hit list of things you need to know. Ready? Here we go:
Salary Cap: Financial spending limit imposed on all teams in the league. Expected to be $58.4 million per team for ’12-’13 season.
Soft cap: Exceptions that allow a team to keep its own players, even though they may go over the salary cap.
Luxury tax: Pre-set amount over the salary cap where teams are required to reimburse the league for excessive and unfair spending on team salaries.
Hard cap: Cap that allows no exceptions to the spending limit imposed on league teams.
Bird exception: This allows a team to resign their own players, even if they exceed the salary cap.
Early-Bird exception: Allows teams to resign their own players, but under a more limited contract.
Non-Bird exception: Only applies to veteran players with only one year on team, traded during season, or did not sign a team contract.
Mid-level exception: The maximum a team can sign a free agent (who’s been in league more than 3 years), when team is over the luxury tax limit.
Contract length: Now is four seasons at the max per player, unless renegotiated during year three. Exception is for rookie contracts only, which can be extended up to 4 years.
Option Clause: Allows team and a player to extend a contract for one season after scheduled end date.
Standard: The salary cap definition for normal contract length and raises.
Some other quick tidbibits worth mentioning:
- All 1st round picks are included in team salary immediately when drafted—signed or not.
- Contracts for fewer than 4 years cannot be extended.
- No signing bonus is allowed on rookie contracts, unless a buyout to an international team is involved.
- Current CBA will run until 2021 season.
- Six-year contracts are not permitted any longer.
- Disabled player contracts do not count against team salary cap.
- Player deaths count same as disabled player contract.
- Current contract can only be voided by major event (war, state of emergency), court decision, or significant drop in TV revenues (in next TV agreement), or in cases of collusion.
- Only the players can terminate the CBA for collusion, not the owners.
- Only the League can terminate for major event or TV revenue drop.
- Either players or league can void the CBA if agreement or any part of it is struck down in court. For players with more than 3 years in league playing on less than the 2 yr minimum contract for veterans, the league will reimburse teams for any monies spent over the league minimum.
- Teams MUST spend a minimum of 80% of announced salary cap imposed, in order to be eligible for league payouts or rebates.
- Luxury tax should be set at $70 million for coming season.
John Felder is a lifelong Celtics fan and a new blogger at Celtic Nation. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @PariahJF