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Rookie contracts?

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Joined: 11 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: 01/17/20 10:08 am    ::: Rookie contracts? Reply Reply with quote

So what is the new rookie deal? If, as mentioned elsewhere, the rookie deals are now five years, owners will save money by not having to pay the going market rate in that fifth season.

And that also means rookies could be kept over marginal veterans for one more season, though that depends on the difference between the fifth-year rookie salary and the veteran minimum. Now teams have to pony up for the stars, so there may be more pressure to keep expenses as low as possible at the bottom of the roster.

Ideally, the rookie contracts are four years, and by year four, the gap between the rookie scale and vet minimum isn't very much.

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Joined: 17 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: 01/17/20 11:36 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

No one has said they're getting any longer. The only relevant change mentioned in any meaningful source is that players can now become unrestricted free agents after 5 years rather than 6. It probably would've come up in all the CBA talk if rookie scale deals were changing length. So expect them to stay four years (with team options, and always non-guaranteed anyway), then players to become RFAs when coming off the deal. For successful players it'll then be their option whether to sign long-term or take one-year deals and become UFAs the next year (or at least force teams to start coring them).

There hasn't been much of a gap between the top end of the rookie scale and the vet minimum for years. The occasionally meaningful difference is between the vet minimum and the 0-2 years of experience minimum. That gap will probably still be there, because getting paid a bit more is worth the very small number of vets it keeps out of a job.

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Joined: 14 Jul 2019
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PostPosted: 01/17/20 12:32 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I thought there'd be a chance they'd change rookie contracts from 3 yrs+1 yr team option to 2 yrs+1 yr team option. I've made the argument before that most players are who they are once they reach their 4th year anyway, so why not be paid for whatever true value that is? But obviously that would've changed the whole salary-structure equation in negotiations.

The fact that players now will only be RFAs once in their career (unless I'm misunderstanding something) to me makes the restrictedness sorta seem unnecessary? The player-coring limit's already getting cut down from 4 to 3 & then 2. They may as well have just gotten rid of RFAs altogether, but I suppose it does still give teams a chance to trade someone coming off their rookie contract - otherwise they'd have to core someone in order to keep someone. Still, it seems weird that being Restricted is virtually now just a one-time thing for players, which is why I would've changed rookie contracts to what I described.

This year's free agency may or may not be interesting, but next year's seems poised to be.

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