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Fielkow's Law NBA: The Luxury Tax and Trade Deadline

Justin Fielkow

Justin Fielkow

Justin Fielkow is an attorney at the Franklin Law Group in Northfield, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. Justin attended Tulane University Law School and obtained a Certificate in Sports Law. He has been writing for Rotowire since 2008, first while at the University of Wisconsin, then and still as the beat writer for the New Orleans Saints, and now as a featured columnist providing insight into the legal side of sport with a fantasy spin.

As the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. famously proclaimed, “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.”

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching on February 20th, that mantra continues to ring true, as contending and non-contending teams alike operate with their eyes as much to their check books as to their teams’ present and future roster needs.

Following a take-it-or-leave-it offer from the league, the dissolution of the players' union, the filing of a federal antitrust lawsuit, and a combined 480 lost games, the NBA owners and the Players’ Association agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which took effect in December 2011. Unable to negotiate a hard salary cap similar to those employed by the NFL and NHL, the owners were forced to settle for the next best thing under its “soft cap” - a more punitive luxury tax. Although owners fa

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