Why the new CBA will benefit the Orlando Magic in the future

The Orlando Magic found themselves facing overtime again against a hot Miami Heat team. This time they pulled through for a win. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic found themselves facing overtime again against a hot Miami Heat team. This time they pulled through for a win. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The NBA and NBPA recently came to an agreement on a new, seven-year collective bargaining agreement, with some of the finer details particularly important to the likes of Jaylen Brown and other young players who will find the bulk of their moneymaking days under this new agreement.

The Boston Celtics forward now finds himself in a position where he could make considerably more money on his next contract with the organization. Everyone will be watching to see how the budding stars in the league — perhaps even including Paolo Banchero — play out their next contracts under this new CBA.

There are plenty more details than that to dissect, with the attempt to provide more parity in the league moving forward very much a part of the agenda here.

The Orlando Magic are a small market franchise who are beginning their ascent at the right time. And this CBA is going to help them in a few key areas.

Sam Quinn of CBS Sports has put together a fantastic breakdown in relatively plain English on the new CBA, and the good news for the Magic right away pertains to paying their young players in future.

Under the old agreement, teams could only have two supermax players on their rosters.

One “Rose Rule” designated player who the organization drafted (teams could also not have more than one of these players on their roster through trade), and one set aside for a veteran player. The Rose Rule would only apply to players who make the All-NBA team early in their careers, allowing teams to pay them more in their early extensions and contracts.

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That rule has been relaxed so teams can give that supermax to any player they want to. It is going to make it theoretically easier for a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers to keep Donovan Mitchell with his new contract, but also give big contracts to Darius Garland and Evan Mobley.

The idea is to release restrictions so teams that built through the draft can retain their star players and not face difficult decisions that could break up teams, especially for smaller markets that would struggle to get free agents.

How then does this impact the Magic positively?

There will come a time, which is always sooner than any organization would like, when the Magic will have to pay both Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner.

As the Magic drafted both players, both could fall under the “Rose Rule” if their development really accelerates. Under the previous CBA, only one could have gotten the real supermax.

A veteran player the team drafted signing a new contract would usually have been eligible for up to a 20-percent increase in their new deal, and more than that again depending on their All-NBA status.

That figure is increasing to 40 percent, which means for the Magic there could now be a time both Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner are on supermax deals, while Markelle Fultz still makes a lot of money too. This does not even get into the expected cap spike that will come after the league negotiates a new TV deal following the 2024 season.

This is the position the Celtics find themselves in with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. They are now in a position to pay both when Brown’s contract extension comes up this summer.

Not that it is a guarantee that Brown will end up coming back to play for the Celtics next season.

It also means that if in the future they trade for a player who is on a supermax, assuming the figures work, they will be able to absorb that player onto their roster and cap sheet.

The importance of this for a young team like the Magic, who could be close to going all-in for a star, cannot be understated. This change has come at a perfect time for them.

Building on this, and the new CBA has also tried to give smaller market franchises like the Magic more of a fighting chance both in free agency and in battling teams with deeper pockets for penalties.

In the future, organizations that are approximately $17.5 million over a second tax apron that is being introduced, will not be able to use their taxpayer mid-level exception to sign free agents.

Currently, teams above the apron still have access to the taxpayer mid-level exception, a tool that allows teams to sign players to a small contract of around $3-4 million per year to continue adding players even if a team is above the salary cap. Non-taxpayers who are above the cap but below the current tax apron have a $5-6 million exception available to them. Using either exception hard caps teams, making it more difficult for them to add players elsewhere.

Essentially this prohibits the top spenders like the Golden State Warriors from adding quality depth to their roster, at the expense of a growing team like the Orlando Magic from getting a look in. It encourages players to seek out these other franchises to get contracts.

This rule would have stopped players like Joe Ingles (Milwaukee Bucks) and Donte DiVincenzo (Warriors) from joining the teams they currently play for.

While that might not sound like it is relevant to the Magic at this moment, think about how valuable that will be when they need a quality veteran to round out their roster.

It gives them at least a chance now at getting these players in the room to try and sell them on the franchise’s vision.

Equally as important, this rule also permits teams above this second apron from signing players on the buyout market.

Again we will not see the true benefits of this for a number of years in the case of the Magic, but imagine if they were actually adding a veteran like Terrence Ross at the deadline, not losing him.

Of less importance right now, but still very much a change in favor of a team like the Magic, is how it will become harder for superstars to leave town and team up with others in the league.

It will become easier for the Magic to spend their money to keep the top talent that they have.

While Banchero or Wagner could one day ask for a trade anyway, the new CBA is designed to make superteam scenarios as difficult as possible to achieve.

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We will soon be entering a league in which the Magic have a chance to sign players they normally would not have been able to, are more competitive because of restrictions on high spenders and will be able to pay their own guys more to stick around.

If that is not a win for an organization that has finally found its way out of a rebuild and is having an ideal season by their standards, then what is?