CBA winners, losers in Year 3

Nets, Rockets have benefited while Lakers, Celtics have suffered

Updated: September 20, 2013, 12:55 PM ET
By Larry Coon | ESPN Insider

Brooklyn NetsDebby Wong/USA TODAY SportsThe CBA and unlimited resources enabled the Brooklyn Nets to construct their current "superteam."

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 every NBA team has benefited from the new agreement. For the teams, it's not a zero-sum game; when one team gains another team doesn't have to lose, because many of the concessions came from the players. Still, it's not a surprise that the new CBA impacted the 30 NBA teams differently.

Here's a look at which teams have won and which have lost under the new agreement so far.

The winners

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.

Brooklyn Nets

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.


To read more of which teams benefited or were hurt most by the NBA collective bargaining agreement going into its third season, become an Insider today.

Larry Coon is the author of the NBA Salary Cap FAQ.