NBA 101 Wednesday: Salary Cap Exceptions (Part 1/2)

Today begins Part 1 of our series on Salary Cap Exceptions.  These exceptions are used by teams to exceed the salary cap, and thus maintain the NBA’s “soft” cap. signature_sticker1.gif

In most cases, a team can use one exception to sign multiple players, however, they cannot use a combination of exceptions to sign one player.

Today we will discuss the following:

  • Mid-Level Exception
  • Bi-Annual Exception
  • Rookie Exception
  • Larry Bird Exception
  • Early Bird Exception
  • No Bird Exception

Mid-Level Exception: The Mid-Level Exception (MLE) allows a team to sign a player to a contract of up to six years, at an amount equal to the average NBA salary each year.  This exception can be used each season on either one player or multiple players.

The 2007-2008 MLE is 5.356 million.

Bi-Annual Exception: The Bi-Annual Exception, previously known as the $1 Million Exception, allows a team to sign any free agent to a contract of up to two years, with annual raises of up to 8%.  The initial contract must be worth 4.5% of the previous years Bi-Annual Exception amount. 

In 2006-2007, the amount was $1.75 million.  This season, 2007-2008, the amount is $1.83 million.  Next season, 2008-2009, the amount will be $1.91 million.

Rookie Exception: The Rookie Exception allows a team to sign their first round draft picks to rookie-scale contracts, even if they are over the salary cap.

Larry Bird Exception: The Larry Bird Exception allows a team to re-sign their own free agents to contracts up to six years, with annual raises of up to 12.5%.  This exception is known as the Larry Bird Exception because the Boston Celtics were the first team permitted to exceed the salary cap to re-sign their own free agent.  That free agent was Larry Bird.

Free agents who qualify for this exception are known as “qualifying veteran free agents” or “Bird Free Agents.”  To qualify, a player must have played his last 3 seasons without being waived or changing teams.  This could be in the form of three 1-year contracts, or a single 3-year contract with the same team.  When a player is traded, his “Bird Rights” are traded with him, allowing the new team to resign him using the Bird Exception.

Early Bird Exception:  The Early Bird Exception allows a team to re-sign their own free agents to contracts between 2 and 5 years, with annual raises of up to 12.5%.  The initial contract must be 175% of the player’s salary from  the previous season, or the NBA’s average salary, whichever is higher.

Free agents who qualify for this exception are known as “early qualifying veteran free agents.”  To qualify, a player must have played his last two seasons without being waived or changing teams.

No Bird Excpetion:  The No Bird Exception allows a team to re-sign a player to a contract of up to six years, with annual raises of up to 10%.  The initial contract must be 120% of the player’s salary from the previous season, or 120% of the NBA’s minimum salary, whichever is higher.

Free agents who qualify for this exception are known as “non-qualifying free agents.”  This means that they do not qualify for either the Larry Bird Exception or the Early Bird Exception.


Review the Series:
Introduction:  NBA 101 Wednesday: The Salary Cap
NBA 101 Wednesday: Salary Cap Exceptions (Part 1/2)
NBA 101 Wednesday: Salary Cap Exceptions (Part 2/2)

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3 Comments

  1. […] Review the Series: Introduction:  NBA 101 Wednesday: The Salary Cap NBA 101 Wednesday: Salary Cap Exceptions (Part 1/2… NBA 101 Wednesday: Salary Cap Exceptions (Part 2/2) – Final Thoughts: I hope you […]

  2. […] Review the Series: Introduction:  NBA 101 Wednesday: The Salary Cap NBA 101 Wednesday: Salary Cap Exceptions (Part 1/2) NBA 101 Wednesday: Salary Cap Exceptions (Part […]

  3. just ran across the site. good info


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    cavscourtanimationgrey ____________________________
  • 2007-2008 Schedule

    (* - Denotes Home Games)

    October
    31: vs Dallas*, 74-92 (L)

    November
    02: vs Knicks*, 110-106 (W)
    04: vs Phoenix, 92-103 (L)
    06: vs Warriors, 108-104 (W)
    07: vs Utah, 101-103 (L)
    09: vs Sacramento, 93-91 (W)
    11: vs LA Clippers, 103-95 (W)
    12: vs Denver, 100-122 (L)
    14: vs Orlando*, 116-117 (L)
    16: vs Utah*, 99-94 (W)
    20: vs Bucks*, 107-111 (L)
    21: vs Minnesota, 97-86 (W)
    24: vs Toronto*, 111-108 (W)
    25: vs Indiana, 111-106 (W)
    27: vs Boston*, 109-104 (W)
    28: vs Detroit, 74-109 (L)
    30: vs Toronto, 82-91 (L)

    December
    02: vs Boston, 70-80 (L)
    04: vs Nets*, 79-100 (L)
    05: vs Washington, 86-105 (L)
    08: vs Charlotte, 93-96 (L)
    11: vs Indiana*, 118-105 (W)
    14: vs Nets, 97-105 (L)
    15: vs Philadelphia*, 86-92 (L)
    17: vs Milwaukee*, 104-99 (L)
    19: vs New York, 90-108 (L)
    20: vs LA Lakers*, 94-90 (W)
    23: vs Warriors*, 96-105 (L)
    25: vs Miami*, 96-82 (W)
    27: vs Dallas, 88-81 (W)
    29: vs New Orleans, 76-86 (L)

    January
    02: vs Atlanta*, 98-94 (W)
    04: vs Kings*, 97-93 (W)
    06: vs Toronto, 93-90 (W)
    08: vs Seattle*, 95-79 (W)
    09: vs Atlanta, 81-90 (L)
    11: vs Charlotte*, 113-106 (W)
    15: vs Memphis, 132-124 (W)
    17: vs San Antonio, 90-88 (W)
    21: vs Miami, 97-90 (W)
    23: vs Wizards*, 121-85 (W)
    25: vs Phoenix*, 108-110 (L)
    27: vs La Lakers, 98-95 (W)
    30: vs Portland, 84-83 (W)
    31: vs Seattle, 95-101 (L)

    February
    02: vs LA Clippers*, 98-84 (W)
    05: vs Boston*, 114-113 (W)
    07: vs Houston, 77-92 (L)
    08: vs Atlanta, 100-95 (W)
    10: vs Denver*, 83-113 (L)
    11: vs Orlando, 118-111 (W)
    13: vs Spurs*, 105-112 (L)
    19: vs Houston*, 85-93 (L)
    20: vs Indiana, 106-97 (W)
    22: vs Wizards*, 90-89 (W)
    24: vs Memphis*, 109-89 (W)
    26: vs Milwaukee, 102-105 (L)
    27: vs Boston, 87-92 (L)
    29: vs Minnesota*, 92-84 (W)

    March
    02: vs Chicago*, 95-86 (W)
    05: vs New York, 119-105 (W)
    06: vs Chicago, 96-107 (L)
    08: vs Indiana*, 103-95 (W)
    10: vs Portland*, 88-80 (W)
    12: vs New Jersey, 99-104 (L)
    13: vs Washington, 99-101 (L)
    16: vs Charlotte*, 98-91 (W)
    17: vs Orlando, 90-104 (L)
    19: vs Detroit*, 89-73 (W)
    21: vs Toronto*, 90-83 (W)
    22: vs Milwaukee, 8:30p
    26: vs New Orleans*, 7p
    29: vs Detroit, 7:30p
    30: vs Philadelphia*, 6p

    April
    02: vs Charlotte, 7p
    03: vs Chicago*, 8p
    05: vs Orlando*, 3p
    09: vs New Jersey*, 7p
    11: vs Chicago, 7p
    13: vs Miami*, 1p
    14: vs Philadelphia, 7p
    16: vs Detroit*, 7p
    ____________________________
  • Credits

    All photos are property of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA, and their respective owners.

    NBA rules, regulations, and historical data courtesy of the NBA, and Wikipedia.

    Animations courtesy of Cre8ive Juice: cre8ivejuicedesign@gmail.com