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Larry Bird Exception

What is Larry Bird Exception?

This exception is officially known as a Veteran Free Agent exception.  A player who qualifies for the exception is known as a qualifying veteran free agent.  This exception allows teams to re-sign their own free agents without being penalized for going over the salary cap.  It also allows the team to offer a contract with a longer term.

Sporting Charts explains Larry Bird Exception

A player qualifies for the Larry Bird Exception, or simply Bird Exception, if they have played on the same team for 3 seasons without being waived or changing teams as a free agent.  Such a player may be re-signed by their own team for an amount up to the maximum salary set in the Collective Bargaining Agreement for up to 5 years.  A player may also qualify for Bird Rights, as they are known, if the player is amnestied; the player's Bird Rights would transfer to the team that claims him.  Players can also retain their Bird Rights if they play under 3 one-year contracts or if the player is traded.  These final two qualifications were allowed based on a determination by an arbitrator in June 2011.

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