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Jared Dudley says teams should be able to add an extra veteran player to their rosters

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Lakers veteran Jared Dudley weighed in on the latest NBA rumors about how many roster spots teams will have this season, and he made a good point.

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NBA: Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A few weeks ago, there were multiple reports that the NBA was considering letting teams add a third two-way contract in order to expand their rosters. However, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the negotiations between the league and the players’ union may have hit a roadblock.

Left unsaid there is that the cheaper team governors — see Fertitta, Tilman, probably — would likely prefer that said extra roster spot be a cheaper two-way player so they don’t look like a broke boy in front of all their friends if they don’t use it.

For example, two-way players are being paid a flat rate of $449,155 for the season and don’t count against the salary cap or luxury tax, while — as pointed out by Larry Coon’s invaluable CBA FAQ — veteran players can cost significantly more than that, and do count against luxury tax and salary cap calculations:

Image via CBA FAQ

Jared Dudley, the Lakers’ team representative with the National Basketball Players Association, had some thoughts on these latest developments that he wanted to share on Twitter. Not unsurprisingly, he was candid, and thinks that all players should have a chance to ply their trade, not just younger ones:

He’s not wrong, and as I mentioned above, the real motivation for this is likely to try and save the ownership groups’ money. Competitive balance isn’t really the most important thing anyway for what is basically a 16th roster spot. If any of those players are swinging the title chase, something went seriously, seriously weird at some point.

Still, with games getting postponed left and right as the NBA tries to scrounge up enough bodies to keep the money train rolling during a raging pandemic, it does seem likely that they’ll still expand rosters at some point. It just remains to be seen which side blinks first. And while ownership may want to save money on the roster, the reality is they have a lot more money to lose if games keep getting cancelled and they can’t meet the minimum amount required for their local TV deals, so keep an eye on that as a factor as these negotiations continue and players and organizations try to avoid a stoppage.

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