The National Basketball League (NBL) and the Australian Basketball Players’ Association (ABPA) have agreed to a new three-year Collective Bargaining Agreement that will see the minimum salaries for players rise 38 per cent.
Marking the most professional conditions in the League’s history, the minimum wage for roster players will rise to $55,000, up from $38,000 four years ago, while investment in player welfare and development will be doubled under the three-year agreement.
This means for the first time, development players will receive a minimum wage of $17,000 after previously having some players training for little or no pay.
The salary cap for each club will increase from $1.1 million in 2016 to $1.43 million in 2019/20, with clubs required to pay health insurance for all players.
NBL Chief Executive, Jeremy Loeliger said: “This is a landmark agreement that recognises the NBL’s status as one of the premier leagues in the world and acknowledges the players as a fundamental stakeholder and partner in the growth and ongoing success of the competition.
“The League’s and the players’ fortunes are linked.
“Neither can grow and flourish here in Australia without the other also being successful.
“Importantly this agreement reflects that we need to invest in growth on and off the court to ensure the most important part of our game – the players – are supported both as athletes and as people.
“There’s never been a more exciting time for the NBL and Australian basketball and I want to thank every player and the Players’ Association for their ongoing commitment to build a better and more professional product for our fans and a legacy for generations to come.”
Players will also have the flexibility to play in other leagues at the completion of the Hungry Jack’s NBL season, enabling greater earning capacity and continued development.
Players’ Association CEO, Jacob Holmes said: “This agreement absolutely establishes the best conditions that we have seen in the history of the NBL and is a direct result of the collective and aligned purpose the players and the NBL shared during these negotiations.
“The increases to minimum wage, injury insurance and investment in the ABPA Player Development Program are vital to the players’ lives on and off the court and this positive outcome is a result of the players’ and the NBL’s ambition to create the most professional environment possible.
“This agreement is also significant given the series of games against the USA in Melbourne in August this year, ahead of the Basketball World Cup in China and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo; the future crop of Australian Boomers now have a solid base in our National competition to springboard from.”
ABPA Director Andrew Bogut, who will return from the NBA next season to feature in his second season with the Sydney Kings, welcomed the significant increase in professionalism across the competition.
“The players met regularly throughout the pre-season and season to discuss our key priorities for the NBL and the overarching theme was to ensure we delivered the most professional conditions possible for players,” Bogut said.
“This agreement delivers upon that priority, ensuring players are supported during and after their NBL careers.
“It reflects the NBL’s status as a world-class league and athletes being recognised accordingly,” he said.