New CBA requirements to be eligible for awards explained

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) /

The league and the National Basketball Player’s Association (NBPA) recently agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). That means no lockout! Woohoo!

But that also means some new requirements to be eligible for end-of-season awards (awards such as MVP, All-NBA, and DPOY). Here is a look at what these requirements are. Keep in mind these changes will be effective as soon as next season.

The main rule here is that players must play at least 20 minutes in at least 65 games. So, if you have someone who plays 67 games but only hits the 20 minutes played threshold in 32 of them, they will not be eligible for these end-of-season awards.

In the same token, if someone plays over 20 minutes in 52 games but only plays in those 52 games, then they also will not be eligible for any end-of-season honors.

With this said, there are some protections in place to safeguard against unfortunate circumstances. For instance, if a player suffers a season-ending injury, they only need to appear in 62 games for over 20 minutes instead of that standard 65-game mark.

Also, there is a two game exception for near misses in minutes. With this exception, you can have two of your 65 games be 15 minutes or more rather than the standard 20 minutes or more. So, if someone plays in 65 games, going over 20 minutes in 63 of them and going over 15 minutes (but under 20 minutes) in two of them, they would still be eligible for consideration for end-of-season awards.

These rules have been added in an attempt to deter teams from load management practices, as many contracts have built-in incentives that kick in if you receive specific awards/honors. The idea is that by threatening to take away people’s chances of making money, they will be more apt to refrain from the behavior that the league is trying to eliminate.

There’s a chance that these new requirements put an end to the days of load management. But then again, there’s also a chance that these requirements completely backfire and make the league look silly.

Which course of events is more likely to play out? Who knows. All we can do now is wait and see.

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