Based on early reports, the league's concessions on sticking points on constraints to the transactions teams over the luxury tax threshold can make were not exactly major in the new NBA lockout deal.
CBS Sports' Ken Berger reports that the owners have increased the size of the mini mid-level from two years at a starting salary of $2.5 million to three years at a starting salary of $3 million. The old mid-level exception could stretch up to five years starting at $5.7 million; the new mid-level available to teams under the tax threshold would be up to four years starting at $5 million. So the difference between the total value of a mid-level exception to a non-tax team ($22 million) vs. a tax team ($9 million) remains large.
The players' union isn't a huge fan of that concession, Berger reports. There also remains the question of how a team is deemed a tax team or not. If a team is under the threshold but using the full MLE would put them over, should they be restricted to using the mini MLE? Or if a team is as little as $1 under the threshold, should it be able to use the full MLE?
Berger also reports that the league has loosened its ban on sign-and-trade deals for tax teams, though it's unclear just how much those pursestrings have been loosened.