Contract Negotiation

Explanation of the Larry Bird Exception

This is one of the interesting parts of the NBA’s salary cap that I discussed before.

In brief, the exception allows a team to go above and beyond the salary cap in order aWhat a stud re-sign a free agent. The amount of the contract cannot exceed the maximum salary. The contract signed cannot be for more than 6 years. The maximum raise that a player can receive is 10.5% above the salary in the first season of the contract.

The exception is named after Larry Bird because it came into effect when the Boston Celtics tried to exceed the salary cap in order to resign the great Larry Bird. The exception is in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement under the Veteran Free Agent exception. Free agents who qualify for the exception are listed under “qualifying veteran free agents” or “Bird Free Agents.”

In order to qualify for the exception, a player must:

  1. Have played in the NBA for 3+ seasons.
  2. Have not been waived during that time.
  3. Have not changed teams as a free agent.
  4. Have not been renounced (would have to wait a year to re-sign under Bird exception).

Caveat: If player is traded, Bird rights are traded with the player, and the new team can re-sign player under Bird exception.

Lots of more NBA salary cap issues to tackle in the future. I do not want to overload readers with too much information in a single day. On weak news days, I will add to this discussion.

[tags]larry bird, nba, basketball, cba[/tags]

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.