Midseason tournament, third two-way contract: How the NBA’s new CBA affects Pistons

Detroit News

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, the NBA announced a tentative agreement with the National Basketball Players Association on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, pending ratification by the players and team owners.

Specific details weren’t released, but several reports of the league’s newest deal with the NBPA revealed a few items may affect the Pistons.

The new agreement, which will reportedly last seven years, will begin with the 2023-24 season and several elements could apply to the Pistons — who aim to restore their franchise back to playoff prominence.

The in-season tournament, which has been a key topic of conversation among the competition committee this season, could arrive as soon as next season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The event reportedly will include pool-play games meshed into the regular-season schedule starting in November — with eight teams advancing to a single-elimination tournament in December. The tournament’s Final Four will be held at a neutral site, according to Wojnarowski.

Each in-season tournament game would count toward the regular-season standings and the two finalists would ultimately play an 83rd game that would not count in the regular season. Winning players and coaches will earn additional prize money, which The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports will be a $500,000 bonus per player.

The Pistons haven’t made the playoffs since Blake Griffin led the club there during the 2018-19 season, and the team plans to make a significant leap in 2023-24 after what is expected to be another eventful offseason. The Play-In tournament is the obvious next step toward postseason contention, but the in-season tournament could be another method the Pistons could use to measure their growth and development against the NBA’s elite.

The new collective bargaining agreement also will allow teams to hold three two-way contracts instead of the current league maximum of two. Rookie guards Buddy Boeheim and Jared Rhoden currently occupy Detroit’s two-way slots, splitting their time with the Pistons and the Motor City Cruise.

Under the new rule, former two-way forward Braxton Key, who was waived in December, would’ve been able to remain with the franchise.

Detroit has served as a hub for developing young players as of late — on its main roster and with its G League Club. Another healthy body could bode well for the Pistons, who’ve dealt with more than its fair share of injury luck this season.

Also among new changes were a new rule mandating a 65-game minimum for players to be eligible to win major individual awards, such as MVP or All-NBA honors, Charania reports. The Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie team honors weren’t mentioned, but its fair to presume that those awards will fall under the same umbrella.

For example, Jaden Ivey, who is averaging 15.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists, has appeared in 69 games and would qualify for the aforementioned rookie races.

Under those same pretenses, rookie center Jalen Duren, who has missed 15 games this season due to injuries, has appeared in 62 games and would need to play in three of the Pistons’ remaining five games under the new changes to be considered for an All-Rookie team.

The league and NBPA extended the current collective bargaining agreement’s early opt-out deadline twice this season, but a deal is in place and more details should be available once a term sheet is finalized.

Pistons GT wins NBA 2K League 3v3 Slam Open

Pistons GT, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Pistons, continued its winning ways on Saturday by defeating T-Wolves Gaming (Minnesota Timberwolves) in a five-game series to win the NBA 2KL 3v3 Slam Open.

The league’s season-opening tournament was held in downtown Washington, D.C. and Pistons GT, the defending NBA 2K League 3v3 champions, were awarded with the top prize of $60,000 from the tourney’s $150,000 prize pool.

Pistons GT point guard Anthony “Ant” Costanzo was named the tournament’s MVP after averaging 9.6 points and 2.6 assists across the five-game series.

The Slam Open is the first of three 3v3 tournaments that are part of the NBA 2KL 3v3 BLACKTOP SERIES, which will continue April 4-29 with the Switch Open.

mcurtis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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