New CBA Grandfathers Harden, Westbrook into Super-Max Contracts


This upcoming summer, Russell Westbrook and James Harden will be able to benefit from a special provision in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Under this provision Westbrook and Harden are eligible to join a class that includes Blake Griffin, Steph Curry, Paul George and Demarcus Cousins that are eligible to earn extensions that start at $36 million per season.

In this upcoming summer, the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise player can sign a five year, $219 million dollar contract extension beginning in the 2018-2019 season. Harden is eligible to sign on with the Rockets for an additional four years at $171 million at the beginning of the 2019 season. The extension would be on top of his current contract that owes him $58.7 million over the next two years.

The NBA and the Players Association worked together on this addendum of the new Designated Player Veterans Exception to allow Westbrook and Harden’s 2017 eligibility even though they both signed extensions this past summer.

Both parties worked under the belief that no one should be punished for the players signing early. They felt that they honored the spirit of the rules which encourages players to remain with their current teams on contract extensions. The players and teams were not aware that the new CBA would provide such substantial financial rewards for waiting another year to sign.

The NBA is trying to motivate players financially to remain with their existing teams in the wake of Kevin Durant leaving for Golden State. Under the new rule, star players meeting a set of predetermined standards can be compensated up to 35 percent of their teams salary cap. Making one of the three all NBA teams, winning Defensive Player of the Year or MVP are just a few examples of the standards.

The Players Association and the league’s Board of Governors are expected to vote on the approval of the new CBA sometime this week. Both sides have been provided with the information on the deal for their review. Both sides are expected to approve the CBA.

About Kirshner Saintil

Editor and Contributor for NBALead. FAMU Alumnus, Sports enthusiast, avid Miami sports fan. Follow me on twitter @Kirsh_TLFO.

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