NBA GM Challenge Real Salary League Rules




14 players per team (Including IR): 5 starters, 7 bench, 2 IR, 2 minor spots


Active positions: 2 G, 2 F, 1 C

You must have at least 12 players on your roster at all times.


The league is FULL DYNASTY in that your entire roster can be kept from year to year (within salary cap and roster restrictions).


The league is REAL SALARY: Salary cap = current NBA salary cap + 4%.  If you exceed the salary cap during the active NBA season your stats for that day will not count.  If you do this regularly in an effort to tank, you will be warned twice, then your team will be confiscated (no refund) and given to a new owner (not that anyone would try to cheat like this, but it has to be said).  If for whatever reason you will be out of reach of a computer/the internet it is your responsibility to set your line-up ahead of time for the good of the league.


Nine categories, H2H Categories: Points, Three-pointers Made, Rebounds, Assists, Steals, Blocks, FG%, FT%, Double-Double


Rosters are set daily. 


League structure and schedule:

30 teams in one conference.  


Season will end at midnight on March 31 to avoid resting shenanigans by NBA teams at the end of the season.


Salary Cap:

Each player’s salary is exactly the same as their NBA player salary, and the salary cap for each manager’s team in this league is exactly the same as the NBA salary cap + 4%.  So, for the 2019/20 season the salary cap for each team will be 113,505,600 million. (Will adjust when official salary cap is announced). There is no soft cap, luxury tax or minimum salary as they do not suit the fantasy format.


You may draft and roster players who aren’t on an NBA roster as long as they have been previously drafted and are currently unretired.  Their default salary will be the league rookie minimum (e.g. $582,180 in 2018/19), until they are signed by an NBA team at which time their salary will change to the value of the contract they have signed.  Players on two-way contracts may also be rostered with a $250k cap hit (the maximum they can earn from their NBA team).



Initial draft will be a slow snake draft, with an eight hour clock on each pick. It will be third round reversal.

At the end of the first and subsequent seasons, there will be a two round rookie draft, in reverse order from the previous season’s standings, non serpentine. Only rookies can be selected in this draft. Non playoff teams will be subject to a lottery. The lottery will play out on

The lottery for those 14 teams will mirror the current NBA lottery system.

The lottery will be for the first FOUR spots in the draft.

Shortly after the start of each new season there will be a two round rookie draft – this will also be a slow draft with 10 hours given per pick.  Please set a queue to avoid waiting the whole 10 hrs! The order of the picks in both rounds will be non-serpentine based on the previous year. Only rookies can be selected in this draft. If you do not set a queue, and the timer runs out, or select a rookie who is not draft eligible you will FORFEIT that pick. No exceptions.  We are all capable of making a selection and responsible for doing so within the time limit.


Free agency & Trades

This league will use blind bidding for WW and FA acquisitions. Each team will have $100 credit for the whole season (starting with the waiver process after the draft) to bid for waived and free agent players.  The highest bid for a particular player gets the player (tie-breaker: team lower in the standings gets the player). Picking up free agents (all players become FAs if they pass through waivers without a bid and are not picked up by a team) also requires bidding so that all teams get a shot at important backups for injured players who happen to be in the FA pool. FA bids will be processed daily.. If your team is out of bidding credit (or you choose to) you can bid $0 for a WW or FA acquisition.

After the draft, when roster cuts have been made to get under salary cap and roster limits, waivers will resume and waivers/free agency will continue as normal until the end of the season.


You will be able to trade players and draft picks.  Trade veto will be by Commissioner (there will be 3 Commishes who will consult before any veto), and veto will only be applied in the case of collusion or if the trade threatens the integrity of the league (ie. massively lopsided and nonsensical).  

Ted Stepian rule- You cannot be without a first round pick in two consecutive seasons. For instance, since the Rockets have traded their 2018 first-round pick to Atlanta, they aren’t allowed to trade their 2019 first-rounder. Following the 2018 draft though, the Rockets will regain the right to trade that 2019 first-round pick, since their ’18 first-rounder will no longer be considered a future pick.  

The Stepian rule does allow a team to trade consecutive future first-round picks if the team has acquired a first-rounder from another team for either of those years.  So, if Houston were to trade for a new 2018 first-rounder, that would give the Rockets the flexibility to move their 2019 pick without having to wait until after the 2018 draft.

Roster rules:

Your roster may not exceed the salary cap (or roster limit of 14 players including IR) between the start of the waiver process (after the draft) and the end of the regular season. So, you must be back to 14 players maximum and under the salary cap by the start of post-draft waivers - this prevents teams hoarding players that other teams may want to bid on during waivers.  If you are not, you will not be able to add any players to your team until you are, and any players added will be removed by the Commissioner and allocated accordingly (ie. back to the FA pool, or to the next highest bid in the waiver process).


There is no penalty for cutting players from your team at any time. Players on IR will count against your salary cap.


If your team exceeds the salary cap because a non-NBA player signed with an NBA team during the season, your team will not accrue stats until you are below the salary cap. The (now) NBA player who sent you above the cap will not be eligible to join your active lineup until the salary cap problem is remedied by dropping or trading to get below the cap.


If a free agent who ended the previous season on an NBA roster has not signed with an NBA or international team by Sept 1, their cap hold will act as a placeholder for their seasonal salary until a contract is reached. When they sign, their new contract becomes their salary and if that takes your team over the cap, you will need to make the necessary moves to get under the cap e.g. Eric Bledsoe signed with the Suns on September 25th last season. Prior to agreeing to a five-year, $70 million deal, Bledsoe carried a $6.5 million cap hold. Once the deal was signed, his salary cap figure adjusted accordingly.


All teams may make roster moves (waivers/adds/drops) until the final day of the regular season.  After that, the next set of waiver/free agency moves will be made after the draft, as outlined above. This does not include trades.  Trading can occur in the off-season, but be aware that player salaries on Fantrax will not necessarily be correct until shortly before the rookie draft for the next season - caveat emptor (buyer beware!) applies, and it is up to you to check the salaries of players you may trade for on external sources (e.g.

Off-Season Rules

During the off-season teams will have a little more leeway with roster limitations to account for the rookie draft and waivers.  Your team will have the temporary freedom to be over the salary cap and you will be allotted 2 temporary extra roster spots (to account for possible multiple rookie draft picks and trading).  The system, however, will not allow you to go over the max of 16 players.

Off-season Roster Breakdown: 5 starters, 9 bench, 2 IR

Here is explanation of how the system will keep track and process transactions during the off-season.  Be sure to read and understand the process.

Fantrax Setting:  Total Max Players

Teams will be restricted from executing lineup changes and claims/drops that would result in exceeding the maximum # of players allowed for the entire team (not per position). Transactions that result in violating any of the other roster restrictions on this screen will be allowed, but will cause the team's roster to be illegal and thus accumulate no stats or points for the applicable Lineup Period(s). This only applies to when the transaction is being processed/executed, not submitted (i.e. for certain types of claims and trades). For example, if a team who is already at that maximum # submits a claim (without a drop) for another player on Monday, with claims set to process on Wednesday 12pm, that claim would be denied on Wednesday at 12pm, but not when the claim was submitted on Monday. This gives the team time to adjust his roster accordingly (i.e. drop a player) so that the claim will successfully execute when it is set to process.

The start of the regular season will be cut day.  All teams must be back down to the max roster limitations of 12 players + 2 IR or else your team will not accumulate any stats. 

Rookie Draft/Free Agency/Waiver Process During Off-Season

Rookie draft is a slow draft with 10 hr per pick. This is plenty of time for you to make a selection or set a queue.  If you do not set a queue, and the timer runs out, or select a rookie who is not draft eligible you will FORFEIT that pick.  No exceptions.  We are all capable of making a selection and responsible for doing so within the time limit.

Free agency will open 7 days after the completion of the rookie draft.  Every team will be allotted $100 to bid on players.  This will be your allowance for the entirety of the league year.  If your team is over the salary cap you will not be allowed to make any waiver wire acquisitions until back under the salary cap.  In addition, you will not be allowed to make any acquisitions that puts your team over the salary cap. This will be controlled by the Fantrax system.

Definition of league year: The league year begins when the league is renewed!  This occurs usually a week after stats are finalized from the prior season, or the earliest Fantrax will allow. When free agency opens after the rookie draft you will have access to your FAAB. Manage it wisely because the FAAB will not reset until the next league year.

Fees and Prize Pool

League fee is US $102.67/yr.


I’m looking for long term managers so if you don’t want to commit to the long term this league is not for you.  I want this league to go for decades, and I want managers who feel the same way.  Let’s build a great league for the long term!


$100 goes in the prize pool and $2.67 goes to Fantrax. Fantrax Treasurer will be utilized to collect, store, and distribute league fee and winnings.


Prize pool – total payout $3000/season (30 x $100)


1st $800                   2nd $350                  3rd - 4th $225            5th - 8th $150                   9th - 16th $100

Other stuff

1.  Fantrax is quite easy to use if you look around and familiarise yourself with the drop-down menus.


2.  After the draft all undrafted players will go to Waivers and 2 days later a round of blind waiver bidding will be processed.  NOTE: you have a waiver wire (WW) budget of $100 for the whole season starting immediately after the draft until the end of the season, so manage it carefully.  Also, you can bid $0 for a WW player.  After the initial post-draft WW bidding is processed, all remaining unclaimed players become Free Agents (FAs) and can be claimed on a first come-first served basis.  


3.  All players dropped during the season, or added to the player pool (e.g. players signed from overseas during the season), immediately go on waivers for 24hrs from the moment they are dropped/added to the pool so that every team has a chance to bid to claim them.  If they pass through Waivers unclaimed, they then become FAs.


4.  If you come across a player and think their salary is incorrect contact me on GroupMe with the player name, what you think their salary should be, and a link reference to support your claim, and I will investigate.

5.  Please bring any serious league issues to me privately first by DMing me on GroupMe (or emailing as a last resort) and I'll do my best to address them.  Extremely lopsided trades will be discussed with my 2 co-Commishes before approval, and may not be approved - the owners concerned will be contacted to explain the trade.  In general, simply bad trades (somewhat lopsided but not egregious) will be left alone - bad trades are a part of the NBA and fantasy.  When trading, remember to shop around.