Friday 01st March 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

There Might Be an ‘Andre Drummond Rule’ in the NBA’s New CBA

The NBA and the NBPA are apparently on the verge of hashing out a new collective bargaining agreement, which, for those of us who hate lockouts, is very good.

This new CBA, however, might include an “Andre Drummond Rule,” which seems needless, bordering on bad.

Here’s the lowdown courtesy of The Vertical’s Bobby Marks (h/t ProBasketballTalk’s Dan Feldman):

The Vertical has learned that there’s potentially could be a rule placed that is called the Drummond Rule. So basically, all these players who sign with low cap holds, teams use cap space, kind of circle back, use the room and then sign their player – that is going to go away. We’re going to see some of these cap holds take a significant increase, go from 150 percent to possibly 300 percent.

So, how that plays out is going to be a big question. We could see an impact next summer on Golden State. Steph Curry, Kevin Durant: free agents. Does the Curry cap hold double? And that might mean a dramatic effect as far as what you have with Durant, Livingston, Iguodala.

The only question will be how the NBA uses these rules. Do you grandfather them in? Do you have a grace period? There’s still a lot of questions to be hammered, but there could be certainly a domino effect right now.

Naming this rule after Andre Drummond is dumb. Yes, he delayed signing an extension so that his diminished cap hold would afford the Detroit Pistons more flexibility in their free-agent pursuits. But that move resulted in the signings of guys like Ish Smith, Jon Leuer and Boban Marjanovic. It hardly allowed the Pistons to construct an unbeatable superteam.

Besides, Drummond and the Pistons are from from the first teams to exploit this loophole, if it can even be considered a loophole. The San Antonio Spurs did it with Kawhi Leonard. The Washington Wizards did it with Bradley Beal. They’re doing it again with Otto Porter, just as the Pistons are doing with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Truthfully, this rule shouldn’t be named after anyone, because it doesn’t seem like it should be a rule. If teams and players want to roll the dice and delay an extension, that should be their prerogative. The cap hold shouldn’t have to increase by more. You’re not making it harder for incumbent teams to keep said players, but you are making it needlessly more challenging to build around, which in turn makes it harder to keep them beyond that rookie extension.

The NBA understandably wants to prevent another Golden State Warriors fiasco, but this attacks it too hard. And there’s no way it would make sense to implement right away, because you’re essentially forcing the Warriors to break up or gut their team immediately. Their formation was an oversight on the league’s part; it shouldn’t be able to be corrected now.

And as for future policies, we get it. The league wants to be aggressive in making sure this never happens again. But this rookie-extension loophole hasn’t yet resulted in a superteam. It’s made for interesting discussion leading up to the summer, and teams being afforded an opportunity to get deep. It’s tough to see how that’s a damning thing—especially when, in the grand scheme of things, it won’t prevent another Warriors team. That took luck in the draft, a below-market deal (Curry’s) and a salary-cap explosion. It had nothing to do with extension holds.

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