NBA Reportedly Agrees to New CBA, Allows Sports Betting Player Partnerships

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
Basketball news


  • The NBA made a number of sweeping changes in the new CBA
  • Players could partner with sports betting and cannabis companies
  • The league is also on the verge of implementing an in-season tournament

The NBA reportedly settled on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) Saturday, part of which would allow players to invest in and promote sports betting companies.

The NBA does not currently allow players to bet on NBA games or partner with sports betting companies. That is despite the league itself being aligned with FanDuel, DraftKings, and other related entities.

Sports betting has been a tough topic to handle for professional sports leagues. The NBA has not had any major controversy but has been forced to walk a tight line amid the rapid expansion of legal sports betting.

Power to the players

Shama Charania of The Athletic broke the news regarding the NBA’s supposed groundbreaking deal. Other components of the deal will see players become able to invest in both NBA and WNBA teams and cannabis companies.

If the report is true, the NBA would become the first league to give the players this type of power, especially as it pertains to investing in other teams. That could prove to be especially important down the line if the NBA continues to grow thanks to its array of personalities.

The most valuable team in the league, according to Sportico, is the Golden State Warriors, which is worth $7.6bn, a 25% year-to-year increase. The New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers have the second and third-highest values at $6.6 and $6.4bn.

Although athletes have not been able to invest in teams previously, they have exercised other long-term approaches to their money such as getting contracts paid in cryptocurrency. Warriors stars Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala received part of their annual salary in bitcoin as part of a deal with Jack Dorsey, owner of the group that controls CashApp.

All of those innovations have not crossed into sports betting, which has remained under lock and key in many professional leagues.

The NFL dealt with controversy recently when then-Atlanta Falcon wide receiver Calvin Ridley was found to have placed bets on NFL games during a stint away from the team. He was ultimately suspended for the 2022 season, during which he was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars but could not join them for their playoff run.

Reasons for change

The new CBA is still pending approval from the players and the league’s border of governors, though it is expected to pass. Once it does, it will run for seven years, or the 2029-30 season. Either one of the parties can opt-out after the 2028-29 season.

Another important part of the deal includes the creation of an in-season tournament, similar to the model followed by European soccer leagues. Teams will compete in pool play groups before eight advance to a single-elimination bracket, and eventually, a champion is crowned. The two teams that reach the final round will end up playing 83 regular-season games, whereas everyone else will play the customary 82.

Players and coaches on the winning team will receive cash prizes. The players for $500,000, and the coaches for an undisclosed amount.

The in-season tournament, team investment, and especially the unification with sports betting companies will all come with strict rule sets to be revealed in the future. But even without those rules, it is clear the league is changing, and doing so quickly.

Part of the reason for the sweeping evolution of the league can be attributed to the declining viewership the league has drawn. Even though last year’s NBA Finals between the Warriors and Boston Celtics drew more interest than the preceding Finals between the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks, it was still a far cry from the championship series of even five years ago. 

That being said, the average value of franchises has skyrocketed in recent years and is at an all-time high. Getting sports betting—a booming entertainment medium that has already been thrust upon players—into the mix is almost guaranteed to ensure that trend sticks.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.