In NBA, what is/are the benefit(s) of a team that will acquire an expiring contract?

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Sometimes teams get locked into long-term financial commitments from which they later want to extricate themselves. Typically this is when they have players with expensive, long-term contracts, but have no real hope of competing for a title before those contracts run out. These teams usually have little hope of having cap room to sign free agents, and may be facing large luxury tax payments as well (see question number 21). But if such a team were to trade a high-salaried player for a player with a similar (or even higher) salary who is in the last year of his contract, then they would be able to rid themselves of that financial obligation the following summer. This could get the team below the tax level, or possibly create enough cap room with which to sign a productive free...

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No, the NBA team can not pay a player less than his contract due to injury. They can, however, get a salary cap extension under the Disabled Player Extension, as detailed:

(4) Disabled Player Exception. A team may replace a player who suffers a season-ending injury with one player making up to 50% of the injured player’s current salary, up to a maximum of the average player salary. The Disabled Player Exception is available in the following circumstances:

(a) If the player is injured between July 1 and November 30 and is determined to be out for that season, the team has 45 days to use the Exception; or

(b) If the player is injured between December 1 and June 30 and is determined to be out for the subsequent season, the team has until the following October 1 to use the Exception.

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From this FAQ:

Bob Cousy began to organize the NBA players in 1954, although the league refused to recognize the union until 1957. A near strike at the 1964 All-Star game forced the league to adopt a pension plan. The first CBA was established in 1970, and new agreements followed in 1973, 1976 and 1980. The 1976 CBA coincided with the settlement of the "Oscar Robertson" suit, which was filed by the players association in 1970 to block the NBA-ABA merger. The 1976 agreement also provided limited free agency through the elimination of "option" clauses that bound players to teams in perpetuity.

From another account:

COUSY ORGANIZES THE PLAYERS

Economic conditions continued unchanged through 1954, at which point Bob Cousy, the league's top player, began to organize the NBPA, which would become the first team sports player's union. Cousy began by writing to an established player from each of the league's teams (Paul Arizin of Philadelphia,...

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